Ed Surrey’s 26 Thoughts on Youth Ministry

Today at the EQUIP Youth & Children’s Ministry Conference, Ed Surrey shared some of his thoughts on youth and children’s ministry. Well, he works in youth ministry, so it was mainly a youth ministry thing as opposed to a kids ministry thing.

Ed expanded on each one of thoughts, of course, but I’ll record them in their brief form. Ed’s thoughts are good common sense, so I thought I would get them down for you to think about:

1. Respect, redeem and reject – in that order – what parents do

2. Work with and for parents, rather than without and against them

3. Love the church, rather than mock it

4. Have strategic favourites as the best way to love them all

5. Do everything as though the person you really want to be present is there

6. Success without a successor is failure, so plan to leave now

7. Teach the Bible to engage them, rather than engage them to teach the Bible

8. Realise they learn to serve by doing, rather than by merely watching others serve

9. Create missionaries in schools, rather than Christians in bunkers

10. Let them see you personal life, but not your private life

11. Make your camp the best possible holiday of their year

12. The way you lead says something about your faith: abusive behaviour and unhealthy food (Ed called this ‘food poisoning’) is a spiritual issue

13. If you can’t explain what your ministry is about in one sentence, you need to simplify

14. Never cancel a commitment, especially not with a text message

15. Don’t feel you have to dress and act like a teenager

16. Work with the imperfect people you have, rather than the perfect people you don’t have

17. Serve the church, rather than trying to change it

18. Having no leader is better than having a bad leader

19. Get some old people involved with the young people

20. Get an ‘awkward silence’ tambourine (still not entirely sure what this means – what do you think?)

21. Pitch your promotional material at the non Christian friend’s mother, rather than the kid you already have

22. Youth ministry is important, more because it’s ministry than because it’s with youth

23. Once or twice a year imagine what you’d do if you were the only Christians in your area

24. Make it so the kids come or go because of their response to Jesus

25. Think about who they’ll be when they are 25, rather than just 15

26. Be the one place where they don’t get lectured on the evil of drugs

Leave a comment about which one resonates with you most

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