I was recently asked by another leader what my top 3 youth ministry resources were.
My first response to his text was “Great Question!”
Then I had to take a few minutes to think about what I would put in the ‘Top 3’ category of things that have been a valuable resource to me and to other youth pastors. My second text to him was much longer than the first, but it included the following 3 Resources that have been beneficial to me and I have seen beneficial to other leaders within youth ministry.
One way to stay equipped, encouraged and inspired as a youth pastor is simply finding some youth ministry blogs that connect with you and your ministry style. The truth is there are MANY great blogs with resources, ideas, insights and training for youth ministry and youth pastors. And here is the great thing about many of these resources and ideas that you will find as you read: THEY ARE FREE. For those youth pastors who are bi-vocational, this is especially a great way to find resources that will help you to lead with excellence, without having to create everything from scratch yourself.
Here are a few examples of some great YMIN Blogs:
growmoore.tv (Kevin Moore)
David Hertweck’s Twitter feed is a good one too! (you’re welcome David)
2. LEADERSHIP BOOKS AND PODCASTS
There are some really good youth culture and YMIN specific books out there, but sometimes their ideas/principles don’t always translate into what your local church and youth ministry function like. With leadership books, however, I tend to find at least one principle that helps to lift my lid or my teams lid as a pastor.
3. RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER YOUTH PASTORS
My guess is that this might be one of the most under utilized resources there is in current youth ministry. Within your town or city, or within a short drive there is likely years and years of youth ministry experience, insights and ideas that are there – you just have to be willing to lean in. I would say outside of my relationship with Jesus, reading my bible and praying, this resource above any other has impacted and influenced my leadership and ministry as a youth pastor. There is wisdom and experience there – you just have to be willing to lean in.
I think we often neglect to lean in because we think we are too busy, they don’t “do” it how “we” do it so they have nothing to give me, they are our “competition” – the list could go on. The truth is that all of these things are false. You can learn from the guy or gal across the street or across the city. There is probably and idea or two that they have implemented that you are weak in and could use some improvement on. There are people who are leading at a different size, structure and culture than you are currently leading in – be willing to lean in and learn from them.
BUT…don’t expect them to chase you down.
You set up the coffee appointment – and show up with some questions to ask and something to take notes with. You will be amazed at not only what you learn, but how friendship and encouragement will be added to your world.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Now I want to hear from you.[/quote]
What would be your Top 3 Youth Ministry Resources (books, blogs, sites, etc.)? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!