What can a teen do? Just about anything if they have people around them who believe in them. Teens can accomplish so much and student ministries and the church are in the perfect place to help teens make an incredible difference in this world. Why is that? We already believe in teens! A month ago a group of teens in our student ministry had an idea to host a Karaoke / Dance event to raise money and awareness for cancer research. They pulled the event off, raised 1,000 dollars for research, and helped 4 schools unite behind a cause and all because of an idea and a desire to do something that matters. They were able to pull it off because a few adults who believe in teens (youth ministry leaders, educators, and parents) decided to believe in their idea. Empowering a teen means we get behind them. We empower teens when we give opportunities but also when we push their ideas and help make them a reality. We empower when we lead them to significant leadership roles but also allow them to lead us to creative ideas. When a group of teens have a idea here is what we try to do…
- Push them to make the idea a reality (they do the work) >> Adults really empower teens when we push them to do the hard work. We do not help teens when we shortcut the process and do the work for them. Making any idea reality takes hard work and when teens have the idea they need and want to do the work.
- Support them with resources we have >> This is different for every idea a teen might have. We do try to help with what resources we have.
- Help them to focus >> Many times teens need help cutting out what might be good so they can accomplish what will be great. Help them to say no to some ideas so they can focus.
- Be a voice of wisdom >> We can help teens avoid problems. As adults we can look out for problems and help teens address the before they become a reality.
- Spread the word >> We always try to leverage our social media tools for student led events and causes. We also try to find creative ways to let adults know about events in our church family. Parents and other adults love seeing teens do things that make a difference.
I’ve been working on this since the summer of 11. Here are my conclusions:
1. Clarify the vision
2. Assess resources (then acquire what you need and don’t have,
purge what you have and don’t need, manage what you have and need)
3. Set milestones
4. Partner with people with similar passion, complementary competencies,
5. Learn how to share the vision or partner with someone who can (pitching)
6. Practice creative persistence
(dealing with: discouragement, distraction, failure, criticism, etc)
Two overlooked resources are time and personality strengths.
Saying ‘no’, as you mentioned, is very important for time mgmt as well as
partnering with a ‘D’ type personality if you have a hard time saying no.
Great Great stuff…thanks for sharing! Love it