What Are Helpful Tips For Engaging Youth and Starting a Ministry For Youth?

Hi Lou, thanks for joining us again to answer our questions. You are a great bible teacher. I was inspired by your ‘Take Five’ and your response to my question to you the last time you were with us.

I am considering establishing an organization to help young people in their walk with God. At the core of our activities will be, holding captive the tools for negative peer pressure. In this vein, I would like to hear your responses to the following questions.

  1. What are some things I should consider in the formation of the organization?
  2. What are your tips on engaging youths in our present age?
  3. Please suggest the names of people that would be a great ministry mentor to me.
  4. What are some resources you would recommend for me?

Thanks,
Charles

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Charles,

It is good to hear from you again. I remember you, you gave me some really hard questions on sexuality last year haha. I appreciate you reaching back out. And thank you for your kind words regarding my Take5 series. I thoroughly enjoyed filming and writing about those spiritual disciplines.

I will do my best to answer your questions regarding establishing an organization. As I have never started one, I am not sure what I will have to offer but like I said I will do my best to response.

  1. Consider the ultimate purpose and vision of the organization. Dont just have a faint idea, really map out not only what you want to do, but how it will come into fruition. A great question to ask is “What will this organization do that others are not? Or “Why does this organization have to exist?” Sometimes there are already entities that exist that you could just come alongside rather than making a whole new organization. Dont make a duplicitous program when you could just help others. However, if you can honestly say what you are thinking is new and essential, then start thinking WHAT it will actually do. But don’t just let it sit at the 30,000 foot level, zoom in and think practically on how it will run. What size will it be, funding, etc. Come up with a business plan/pitch.
  2. Authenticity! Everything is so fake today, so youth pick up on that the quickest. Make sure if you want these youths to behave maturely, then treat them maturely. Youth are thinking very deeply about questions of life. Dont assume they are not. Be vulnerable and make sure you meet them where they are. Yes, you want to project where you want them to be, but make sure you get into the trenches with them. You need good answers to their questions. Just make sure you are getting real about the issues they face. So overall, authenticity and vulnerability are KEY!
  3. Someone I would really recommend reaching out to is a man named Denny Pattyn, you can say I gave you his email. Denny is a visionary and has started many ministries/organizations. He is a dear friend of mine and he would be of great use to you. His email is: dpattyn@thefamilywins.org
  4. Regarding resources? I cant say I have too many. I would honestly be looking at some of the most followed youtubers and looking at their material — because that will let you know how and what youth are intaking. I would say the majority of it is not good so its not to model after, but more about information. Listen to the music, movies, and videos youth in your area are watching. Learn a counter narrative to whatever is not inline with the Gospel. I am constantly using references to some of the most poplar shows and movies because I know it will resonate with my demographic. There is a way to use cultural info without endorsing it. But I am sorry, I dont have any books or resources that I would recommend. Maybe “Follow Me” teen edition by David Platt?

I hope this helps. Please let me know if there is anything else I can give a response to.

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Hi Lou, thanks so much for your very insightful responses. They have made me think more and more.

On Denny Pattyn as a potential ministry mentor to me, he is the answer to my prayer. I have looked up his work and have seen why you recommended him. He is doing an incredible job at The Silver Ring Thing, and the Family Wins.

Thanks,
Charles

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