NYWC – Boys Ministry & Reggie Joiner on change

Aaron and I are having a great time at the National Youth Worker’s Convention in Cincinnati this weekend. Enjoy some notes from different sessions…

Smash-Mouth Youth Ministry: Building a Youth Ministry for Boys

True self vs. false self
  • Our false self is born when we believe other’s opinions and then live by those
  • This is especially true and tough for guys
  • The false self is created out of fear and insecurity
  • It’s a defense against pain
  • So we invent a new self that everyone will admire and nobody will know
  • Every boy is faced with the idea of developing a false self of who they are
  • Guys need role models who tell them something positive and encouraging every time they’re together
  • Wild at Heart: The true test of a man starts when he can’t rely on what he’s used all his life – the real journey begins when the false self fails
Practical Ideas
  • Storytelling – share your story with your boys
  • Principle of Descent (John the Baptist principle): The only way to real freedom is to give your life away – but it takes humility & transparency
  • Have dads write letters to their sons and give them out on a retreat
  • Speak words of affirmation to guys – identify their positive traits
Reggie Joiner
1) People change when the pain associated with the status quo becomes greater than the pain associated with the change
  • When we build, create or design something, we think it should last longer than it does – we think there’s no expiration date on our ideas & opinions
  • If I want to build something that lasts, I have to be willing to change what I build
  • Example of first Mac computer in 1985
2) The best way to keep a team moving forward toward your mission is to frequently upgrade your systems
  • We can’t see the end product from where we are but we’re driven by the mission
  • Every time we sit down to talk about what needs improvement, we’re reminding ourselves of the mission
3) Every change gives you an opportunity to distinguish between what is core and what is cultural
  • Define what is core and never changes vs. what is cultural and has an expiration date
  • Allows us to debate, dialogue and discuss without splitting
  • Often we take something that is cultural and treat it as if its core
  • Jesus Christ is core > midweek services are cultural
  • Bible is core > Sunday School is cultural
  • Corporate worship is core > Organ and praise bands are cultural
  • As a leader when talking about change, we can help people decide what’s core and then discuss the cultural issues that have an expiration date
4) When you don’t upgrade the system, you lose your capacity to support a more relevant approach
  • It took 80 upgrades in 20+ years and 60 different computers between the 1985 Mac and the MacBook Air
  • We have a new great idea and put it in a system that hasn’t been upgraded
  • Relevant just means connecting to the matter at hand
  • We take an eternal concept and help someone see how it would make sense in their world
  • Jesus was relevant: he came as a Hebrew man in a time when they were oppressed so Jesus could show them how God would act
  • We don’t make Jesus relevant, he already is
  • Our job is to not get stuck putting God in a box and presenting God in a way that doesn’t connect
  • It’s like trying to install Photoshop CS 4 on a 1985 Mac
  • There’s a reason we can’t just add something and expect it to work
5) Effective organizations create a culture that is intentional about upgrading critical systems
  • System that connects leaders to each other
  • System that we use to communicate truth
  • We have 40 hours a year with a teenager to tell them everything they need to know about God and faith – they spend 400 hours/year on video games
  • We’re convinced that what moved me should move them
  • System for how we partner with parents
  • It’s easy to get trapped in the myth that the family is broken and I can fix what the parent can’t fix
  • Help strengthen the entire family
  • Parents DO HAVE spiritual influence in their teen’s lives
  • They spend 3,000 hours/year with their parents
  • Encourage parents that they’re still influential, not to disengage, learn how to redefine their relationship with their teen
  • System for how you build relationships between teens & leaders
  • Parents can’t do this alone
  • Teens often really hear something from a trusted adult who’s not the parent
  • System that mobilizes teens to serve
  • We often treat youth ministry as a spectator sport
  • Reorganize ministry so teens are serving
  • Mission trips were transformational for us, why wouldn’t they be for teens?
  • We can tell them all the time they’re significant, but until we give them something significant to do, they won’t get it
  • Instead of defining success by numbers, define it by what % are serving
more coming soon… 🙂 I know you’re waiting on pins and needles 😉

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