Tapestry of Faith: Families: A Jr. High School Youth Program that Explores the Diversity, Commonality, and Meaning of Families

Activity 3: Plan for Youth Leadership

Part of Families

Activity time: 10 minutes

Description of Activity

Take time to discuss potential youth participant co-leadership. This topic may be more interesting for high school youth than for junior high youth. Discuss with participants the options you have decided are appropriate for the group. You may need to describe exactly what co-leading each activity involves. Some of the options you might present include:
  • Chalice lighting
  • Opening and closing readings
  • Selection of session activities
  • Co-leadership with adults a session activity
  • Youth leadership of session activity
  • Youth co-leadership of a full session with adults
  • Youth co-leadership of a full session with other youth, but without adults

Suggest to participants that volunteering to co-lead enables them to help shape the program and reflects the leadership patterns witnessed in our UU congregations. Let participants know that you and other adult leaders will help with preparation and providing resources. Ask if there are any questions, and then enlist the commitment of youth volunteers. A sign-up sheet may suffice for volunteer chalice-lighters. Create a tentative plan with youth and invite them to continue thinking about possibilities for sharing program leadership. Co-leadership of activities and sessions will require more discussion and planning. Follow up with youth who express interest during the upcoming sessions. It is possible that youth will become more interested in leadership during the process of participating in the program. Periodic prompts in the Leader Reflection and Planning section will remind you of ways to support youth leadership in the program.