Using the Competencies for Ministry to/with Youth
Using the Competencies for Leadership Development of Youth Ministry Teams

Whether you consider your youth ministry team to be as selective as just the youth group advisors or as inclusive as advisors, parents/guardians, Coming Of Age mentors, conference sponsors and committee chairs with youth on their teams, now is the time to invest in their leadership development by using the Competencies for Ministry to and with Youth.

These 8 competencies reflect a national standard in excellence in youth ministry. And while none of us ever really “finish” any of these competencies, we can continue to develop personally, as a team, and in service of the ministry we love so much. There are multiple ways you can engage with the Competencies Document and accompanying Competencies Webinars and Workshops, here’s a few:

Use the Webinars as Conversation Starters

Arran Liddel, a very new youth coordinator in Victoria, B.C., found the webinars helpful to contextualize his work and bring awareness to potential issues in a spiritual setting that he may not have thought about before. They also provide some practical options to consider. For example, before Arran’s congregation had their first church sleep-over, his supervisor asked for his perspective on sleeping arrangements. Arran was able to share what he had learned in the Safety in Youth Ministry webinar.

Consider This Free Professional Development

If you’re like Kimery Campbell, DRE for youth in Bloomfield Hills, MI, your work hours are already maxed out and it’s unrealistic to add “watch 75min webinar” to you daily to-do list. But you could add to the top of today’s to-do list “look at calendar - identify professional development day next month.” Take 15 minutes today to assess how you want to enrich your skills and plan a day (or half day) next month to digest some helpful resources. I mean, you could definitely make the case that your workflow will improve if you implement the skills you learn in the Communication and Social Media webinar.

Youth Ministry Learning Circle

In the Pastoral Care to/with Youth webinar, Nancy Combs-Morgan encourages advising teams to have regular meetings where they can check in about the pastoral needs of their youth and bond as a team. During this time, teams could also be move through the competencies together.

Over the course of a few weeks, each member of your youth ministry team could watch one or two of the webinars, the come prepared to share what they learned with the rest of the group and facilitate a discussion. The final two competencies, Developing in Self Knowledge and Working as a Team are accompanied by workshops, which the youth ministry team could do together.

Self Reflection/Assessment

Carolyn Barschow, DRE in Portland, ME, is conscious that her youth ministry team is comprised of volunteers already giving generously of their time and talents to serve in youth ministry. She shared the Competencies with her team of four volunteer senior youth group leaders and asked them to reflect on what they would like to develop for the coming year year. Based on their feedback, she is selecting snippets from webinars, like minutes 13:00-23:00 of Healthy Youth/Adult Relationships, to share with volunteers during regular advisor meetings.

Use the Competencies as a Springboard

If you’ve found yourself poking around the Reimagining Youth Ministry Facebook Group and are dreaming of doing things a little differently this year, you could use webinars like Youth Inclusive Multigenerational Ministries or Inclusive Youth Ministry in a Diverse World as a foundation for setting your priorities for the year.

About the Author

  • Jennica has worked in UU religious education and youth ministry since 2008. Since then, she has served as Youth Advisor, Program Coordinator and Religious Education Assistant (First Unitarian Church, Salt Lake), District Youth Ministry Consultant (Mountain Desert), Regional Youth...

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