before i left parkview i had hoped to send out a letter to all the parents making suggestions on how to help the new youth minister get going quickly. as can happen life got busy with other things and so this was dropped by the way. i thought since a few of my friends from baton rouge read this blog i might do it now. i don’t know now when y’all will know who the new guy/girl is or when he/she will be at parkview to start ministering with you but here are a few things i would find useful if i were in his/her situation.
- invite them over to dinner often – the new youth minister is going to want to get to know everyone involved within the student ministry as fast as possible and in my opinion meeting the whole family is a great way to do this. invite him/her over to dinner, spend time with him/her, and then do it all again. that way the youth minister will get
- give the youth minister a gift card every now and then – i don’t mean like a gift (a.k.a. a place he/she can take the spouse on a date – though that might be nice too). rather i mean to places that he/she can use to take youth for meeting them. i can’t imagine how much money i spent at cc’s and cane’s and it never really seemed right to let the youth pay. it will be a good bit easier for the new youth minister to start doing this if he/she has a few gift cards specifically for taking youth out for a cup of coffee.
- if you have an expectation of the youth ministry let him/her know it – but don’t just assume that he/she will agree with it – unsaid expectations make a situation difficult. if you think something is exceptionally important within the youth ministry then discuss this with the new youth ministry. yet always remember that he/she doesn’t have to agree with you and actually might see things differently from you. if you talk about things you both will at the very least know where each other is at.
- give him/her a break – until a youth minister has been at a church for around a year he/she really has no idea what’s going on. every week is a “first” for the new minister. it’s going to take awhile for him/her to get his/her legs on the ground. so give the new minister that chance before you expect for him/her to run with things.
- enjoy the fact that the new minister is not me – i don’t mean this as a cut on myself. instead what i’m trying to say is that after seven years of ministry “robert-style” someone doing things in a different manner is a good thing. even at my best ministry-wise i didn’t see certain things and at my worst i ignored certain things. case in point … ski trips. i know of several wonderful youth ministers that are able to make ski trips great parts of a solid ministry. i, on the other hand, am bothered by ski trips. for me a ski trip would be a waste of ministry time because i would have gone into them thinking they were a waste of time and resources. the new youth minister will have things that he/she does great and loves, and other things that he turns a blind eye to. it will be a nice change that will reach new people.
that’s all i can think of right now. since i know and love so many wonderful people at parkview i am sure that you all will make the most of this time of great opportunity.