If you are going to summer camp this year this post could be helpful to you. Students go to summer camp for all types of reasons. The most popular reason would be to hang with friends for a week. Which is awesome and was definitely one of the big reasons I went to summer camp. Since camps are right around the corner here are a few things that you could do to make this the best camp ever:
- Take advantage of the fact that you have a whole week to focus on your relationship with Christ.
- If you are going to summer camp and you are still investigating who Christ is, take advantage of having a leader in your cabin and ask them the questions you have.
- Think about your current relationships. Do you need more people in your life who are genuinely following Christ? Start praying now that God will bring those people into your life at camp. My favorite part about camp is seeing new friendships formed.
- Think about the mentors in your life or the lack there of. Camp is a great opportunity to build a great student/mentor relationship with your cabin leader that could surpass the week at camp.
- Take advantage of the cabin debrief and share your thoughts with your group, because you never know who needs to hear what you have to say. God can use anything and anyone who’s willing to be used.
- Keep a questions list. If you hear a speaker say something you don’t understand don’t let it go. Write it down and ask your leader later.
- Last but not least start PRAYING today that God would do something amazing in your life.
Hope it helps
Relational ministry is a great approach in leading and guiding students into a deeper walk with Christ. I’ve really challenged myself in this area, because reaching all types of students for Christ and helping them build a lasting relationship is definitely something I’m passionate about. As I come across new students, I still find myself learning new things. So I thought I would share some things that I’ve learned in ministry that relates to relational ministry.
Here’s a few things about relational ministry I’ve learned:
- Relational ministry has more to do with the example you set than the words you say.
- My walk with Christ and my prayer life plays a huge role in leading and guiding students to Christ.
- Be intentional and strategic. ” He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” Corny…I know, but so true!!
- Don’t waste students time by hanging out with students to stroke your own ego.
- I am a spiritual leader first and friend second. – Your spiritual authority can be easily compromised when you reverse the order.
- Honesty is huge in building trust with a student. -You don’t have to be perfect but you do have to be honest.
- Be a listener and ask them questions. Check out Conversation Tactics for Youth Workers
- Listening and being honest wins you the right to speak into their lives. – Listening shows I care and honesty shows character and realness.
- It’s not about the quantity of time spent with students but the quality of time spent with students.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.
- When the opportunity presents itself for you to disciple, obey Nike and “Just do it”. – nothing else on the agenda is more important.
- Never cut a student off when they are sharing. If you can’t remember what you were going to say it probably wasn’t worth you sharing anyways.
- You don’t have to have all the answers. Take their questions and discover the answer together. Maybe do a study on it together.
- Boundaries are important for you to set for yourself. – Live above reproach.
- Use your influence for good and not evil.- God does not tolerate people who take advantage of the innocence of students. Matthew 18:6
- Be transparent and point students continually towards perfection (Christ). – Be open about your imperfections. Students will put you on a pedestal so knock yourself off by being open and honest. Also, use wisdom in doing so.
- Own the fact that you are a leader and speak to students with confidence. – Own The Conversation
The main message I want to push from this post is to be intentional. Every student that God has placed in your life and path was placed there for you to pastor, lead, mentor, encourage and share the love of Christ with. I would even go as far to say that relational ministry equals intentional ministry.
hope it helps
This is something I learned in Youth Ministry… It’s a really simple thing that I think we need to make sure we think about as we talk to new students and existing students within our ministry. We need to be aware of this especially with new students. We as youth workers, whether you are a volunteer or paid staff member, must own the conversation with students.
New students that come to your ministry usually feel this way:
- Alone if they are by themselves.
- An outsider if they come with a friend.
- Nervous about coming to a place where they don’t know anyone.
- Weirded out by being approached by people who they don’t know.
- Awkward because church can be an awkward place to an unbeliever.
- Anxiety about what to expect because they don’t know what to expect.
So we as volunteer leaders and paid staff must be four things:
- Be confident – You are there to greet, meet, connect and pray with them. You need to own it.
- Be assertive – Don’t expect the student to drive the greeting or conversation. When you approach the student they will expect you to lead the greeting. Tip: Don’t expect the student to ask any questions because they won’t.
- Be focused on the student – You intensify everything I listed above when you are distracted with other things while you are talking with a student.
- Be attentive – Know when it’s time to end the conversation.
hope it helps