Linked Post: Dear Youth Ministry Veterans
Leneita Fix is a ym360 Contributor and is a great voice in youth ministry. She wrote a really good piece on the LeaderTreks blog that's a message to veteran youth workers. We thought we'd share an excerpt from it and send you over to the LeaderTreks blog if you want to read the rest (which we highly recommend).
Here's two of five pieces of encouragement Leneita gives to veteran youth workers. Click the link at the end of the excerpt to read the rest.
I’m not sure at what point you’re considered a veteran youth worker. Perhaps it is the point where you can help others avoid the mistakes you have made. Wherever you draw that line, I have a few pieces of encouragement for my fellow youth ministry vets:
1. Don’t be afraid of change.
I love to tell the story of the little girl who is watching her mom fry a chicken. Her mom buys a whole chicken, cuts off the legs and the wings and throws them away. She proceeds to fry only the chicken breast. “Mom,” the little girl asks, “why do you throw out part of the chicken? Why do you fry it like that?” Her mom responds, “Honey, I don’t know. That’s how your grandmother taught me to do it. Ask her.” So the little girl goes to her grandmother with the same question. The grandma responds, “I don’t know. That’s how your great-grandma taught me to do it. Ask her.” So the little girl asks her great-grandmother the same question. The great-grandmother responds, “That’s easy, when I first started frying chicken I didn’t have a skillet big enough to fry it in. So I threw the legs and wings out.”
In our own ministries, we have to constantly evaluate why we do what we do. Does it still work? Does my current group of students respond to this? Can my current team buy in? We must be wiling to shift and change our approach based on the team, parents, and students we have now.
2. Keep growing and learning.
Last week I had a conversation with a mentor who is farther along in ministry than I am. He asked me, “Leneita, when was the last time you went to a conference just to go—not to speak or teach, but just to meet people and learn?” The question caught me off-guard, especially after speaking with a 40-year vet who told me that conferences couldn’t teach him anything anymore.
There comes a point in ministry when it feels like we’ve seen and learned it all. Yet we must recognize that old dogs sometimes need to learn new tricks. Mentors keep us accountable. Growth keeps us humble.
To read the rest of Leneita's post, CLICK HERE.