Motivation: Getting Started
One of the hardest parts of ministering to teens is how to get started. What do you do when you have absolutely nothing? Where do you even begin?
Here are a few things you need to be thinking about and doing.
You’ve noticed a need. How does this need intersect with God’s calling on your life? Is there something you are uniquely equipped to do? Something that is burdening your heart. Spend some time fasting and praying to determine what your first steps should be. Pray for forty days. Fast for a day. Fast one day a week for three months. Pray before you do anything else, and pray a lot.
There’s a pastor or a teacher or a leader in your church that would love to talk to you about your newfound passion for teens. There are teenagers who you could talk to about their desires for a ministry just for them. There are parents and other concerned members who probably have thought what you’re thinking. Get this group of like-minded people together and talk with them. Who knows what will come from this discussion!
• DON'T RUSH
Doing something isn’t always better than doing nothing. If you’re praying (seeking God) and talking (seeking wisdom) then you are progressing. Take your time to plan the best approach to the teens in your church, your community, etc. They have a unique culture, unique needs, and unique expressions. Learning about them is important. Pull teens and families in on the process. Don’t ask what they want (it’s not a social club you’re trying to form), but interact with them enough that you’ll know what they need.
Gather help, gather resources, gather encouragement, gather funds—gather anything you need. Adult volunteers (do not attempt ministering to teenagers alone!), a budget of any size, people who will pray for and support you, lessons, games, etc., are all important things that you’ll want at your fingertips. Congrats! You’re on a great site for resources right now. Scour similar sites, talk to other youth ministers in your town. Prepare yourself for what’s ahead. Determine a meeting place, select a teacher, assign other responsibilities (host home, follow-up caller, postcard stamper, snack buyer, etc.)
Plan a first gathering. Make it casual. Make it good. Make it Christ-centered, not teen-centered.
Pray that your desire to see something happen comes to pass. Ask God to work through your efforts. Trust Him to do what He wants to do in student’s lives.