Priorities: Free Lessons & Tips for Youth Group Leaders
One thing that’s obvious in youth ministry is that teenagers are overly busy these days. Oftentimes, their busy schedules get in the way of youth group activities and prevent them from nurturing their relationship with God.
That’s the issue we’ll be addressing in this blog post, but first…
A Big Thanks
I just wanted to say thanks for all feedback I got from the blog post I wrote on “purpose” a couple of days ago.
In case you missed it, click the below link. I actually gave away an entire 4-week youth group series on “purpose” and offered some tips on how to help teenagers find their purpose in life.
I’m Nick Diliberto, the creator of Ministry to Youth (this website) and youth ministry leader at the Nortshore Vineyard Church just outside of New Orleans, LA. I’ve been in ministry to young people for around 15 years and am dedicated to equipping youth leaders around the world.
Talking with youth leaders from all over, one common struggle student’s face is the issue of “priorities”.
Priorities: Free Lessons & Tips for Youth Ministry Leaders
When teenagers know their life’s purpose and find their identity in Jesus, then the next step is to take a hard look at their priorities.
When it comes to the topic of “priorities” there are several issues to consider.
1. An overly busy schedule leads to mixed up priorities.
School – Teenagers spend most of their day at school and feel the pressure to excel academically. If not, there will be consequences to face. Then, they come home only to spend several hours doing homework. This one thing alone keeps students real busy. But it’s not the only thing they have to juggle.
Activities – Teenagers are often involved in some type of after school activity, like: football, baseball, volleyball, basketball, music, art, etc. Many students are involved in multiple after school activities. Although these activities can enrich a young person’s life, it
Home – Students have chores and responsibilities at home. And many live with blended families and come from broken homes. Home life can be complicated in and of itself.
Prioritizing all that can be overwhelming. In fact, because they have so much to juggle, their priorities often get mixed up. This leads to stress, relationship problems, being overly tired and a lot of other stuff.
I recognize the need to help students with this issue. That’s why I’m giving away a free lesson on “priorities”.
It’s one small thing I can do to help you help the students in your ministry.
2. When students have mixed up priorities, they often neglect their relationship with God.
One of the ways this is most evident is when students don’t show up to youth group because they’re “too busy”.
This breaks our heart as youth leaders. We value them as human beings and want God’s best for their lives. We want to see God transform their lives.
But when they don’t show up to youth group, they neglect to put themselves in an environment to encounter God.
Then, there are the students who do show up but are too busy to build habits in their day lives, like: prayer, reading the Bible, worship, etc.
It’s not that teenagers neglect these things on purpose. Rather, it is as a result of leading an overly busy life.
What is a youth leader to do?
Well, first of all, I’m going to give you another free lesson to help students who do show up to youth group make their relationship with God a priority.
I do realize that doing one lesson on this topic isn’t the answer. But it’s a step in the right direction.
The truth is that you can’t force students to change. God is the only one who can create lasting change. Your job is to simply provide the opportunity for God to move in the lives of teenagers. Tell the truth, then step back and let God do his thing.
Secondly, teach students that making God a priority means paying attention to what God is doing in and around them.
Placing God #1 goes way beyond just reading the Bible, having a morning devotional, showing up to church, and all the other activities of Christianity.
It also involves paying attention to what God is doing in our lives and the in the lives of others around us.
It means paying attention to what god is doing in other people’s lives at school, doing homework, watching TV, playing sport, etc.
It means that sometimes God might speak to a student about a classmate who is having a rough time at home.
It means paying attention to what God is doing in our lives.
Maybe while watching a movie, God speaks something to a teenager.
I love movies and TV shows and believe that God can speak to us through them. In fact, my favorite TV show of all time is Parenthood. I was bummed for it to end after 5 seasons. In just about every episode God spoke something to me regarding family. I would reconnect with my “heart” to love my wife, kids, extended family and parents.
God is constantly at work in our lives and the lives of those around us. We simply need to pay attention to what He is doing.
Teenagers need to know that “paying attention to what God is doing” is a big part of what it means to make Jesus the #1 priority in their lives. We need to constantly reinforce this truth.
Well, that’s all I have for you this time around.
Free Summer Games: Coming Soon
Summer is here and we’re excited to give you a bunch of free youth group games for summer.
Awesomesauce 🙂 Uhhhh…Did I really just write that? Man, I’m corny!
Each game can be used “just for fun” at an upcoming summer event, camp, retreat or service.
Or you can take advantage of the “lesson” included with each game.
In a couple of days we’ll be sending you those free summer games in an email. In fact, that’s the only way for you to get them. So, be on the lookout for that email.
Also, we want to hear from you.
How do the students in your youth group mix up their priorities?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!
Each youth group is different and we can all learn something about teenagers together.
The Big Youth Ministry Bundle is Coming Wednesday, June 17 at Noon Eastern.
We’re really excited to release this bundle of youth ministry resources on Wednesday, June 17 at noon eastern.
It will only last for 7 days and will include over $540 worth of youth ministry resources for only $79.
We’ll be giving away lots of prizes to those who order on opening day.
The first to order gets $100 Amazon gift card.
We’ll also be giving away $100 pizza gift card to one lucky winner who orders the bundle on opening day.
Plus, more prizes.
So, if you like all the free resources we’ve given away so far, then be sure to check out the bundle.
More details coming soon.