YouthESource

Youth Ministry Basics: Senior Recognition

Several months ago, I was visiting one of our small groups that consist mostly of Juniors and Seniors. Discussion was lively, kids were sharing, but something seemed “off.” As they continued the Bible Study, I couldn’t put my finger on what it was until one of the adult leaders asked a question that required a more difficult answer. Silence. As the silence lingered until it became uncomfortable, the adult leader asked the students what their faith meant to them. More silence.

The silence continued and I realized that this group of almost adults, these strong leaders either didn’t know how to verbalize or didn’t seem to have faith “of their own.” They knew all the right answers, sure, but when it came to applying to their lives personally and living it out, they seemed completely at a loss on how to do that. What had gone wrong that these Juniors and Seniors–all active in youth program, attended small group regularly, traveled with us to gatherings and service projects–they didn’t know the answer?

That small group got me thinking about an average youth worker’s schedule at this time of year. It is jam packed with graduations, parties, baccalaureates and perhaps senior recognition Sunday at church. As graduates leave our youth ministries, our churches, and towns and begin to “make their way in the world,” I wonder how and if they will continue to grow in their faith journey.

This is not a new question by any means. Statistics show that many, if not most college students, once they leave their homes also leave the church and few return. As students enter college and step away from the carefully constructed boundaries of high school and youth groups, what are we giving them to help prepare them for that journey?

 Published June 2010

Published June 10, 2010

About the author

View more from

Related Resources

Why Build Resilient Youth in Youth Ministry?

Why Build Resilient Youth in Youth Ministry?

What is a resilient identity in Christ and why is it important for a healthy youth ministry? Check out this blog from the Seven Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry to find out more.

The Habits That We Make – Fundraising

The Habits That We Make – Fundraising

Should youth ministry, or any other ministry for that matter, rely on fundraising to significantly support their ministry functions? Sometimes the habits of fundraising get youth ministry into trouble. This article is designed to help you think more strategically about fundraising.

The Habits That We Make: Parents

The Habits That We Make: Parents

We all have harmful habits, even in our churches. This article helps us think about how we might have habits where parents are not growing in their own Biblical education or even expecting the church and its workers to be the primary teachers of the Christian faith for their children. By identifying these kinds of habits, we can see how we might change them.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Change or Experience?

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Change or Experience?

As youth workers, we need to remember that this cohort that experienced the COVID pandemic during their younger years experienced it differently than adults. Through research, Dr. Tina Berg has been able to identify key learnings that can help us care for young people, particularly confirmands, in the wake of the pandemic.

The Habits That We Make – Isolation

The Habits That We Make – Isolation

We all have habits, some intentionally developed and others not. Knowing our habits in ministry can be important. For example, we may tend to isolate kids and/or youth from the rest of the congregation. This article talks about how to identify this habit and push against it.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How do I know if our youth ministry program is healthy and properly caring for our teens?

Discover how you can enhance your youth ministry and serve the youth in your church with Seven Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry.

Share This