#1 Forming Healthy Relationships and Sharing Leadership with Youth

Youth Adult Shared Leadership

Volunteers and staff in youth ministry should be responsible role models with healthy boundaries who can be in authentic, covenanted relationship (PDF) with young people and practice youth-adult partnerships.

Adolescence is a time of increasing complexity, and youth construct their identities based on their experiences. Adolescents are best supported in their racial and gender identity development by knowing diverse people in multiple contexts and having strong role models to whom they can relate. Meaningful engagement with adults who are living authentically nurtures appreciation of our inherent human diversity. By acting with integrity, adults in youth ministry are able to articulate their own belief system and live their lives as Unitarian Universalists.

Competency in this area means understanding power dynamics and the spectrumof shared leadership (PDF), meaning that more or less responsibility is given to youth based on their skill, their developmental stage, their training and their current capacity.

Training: Healthy Youth/Adult Relationships

Video recording (1 hour, 18 minutes)

Audio only (1 hour, 18 minutes)

HOSTED BY: Eric Bliss (Pacific Western), Evin Carvill-Ziemer (Central East), Hope Laub (emerging adult), Kabir Kuriyan (emerging adult).

PRESENTED: October 12, 2016

Explore current healthy practices in youth and adult relations in congregational and other settings. Topics of emphasis include proper boundaries, adult roles and authority, sharing leadership, and mentoring: the challenges presented and tools to overcome them. Youth leaders join UUA staff to share their experiences of good youth-adult partnership.

Additional Training Materials

Slides (PDF, 55 pages)

Resources List (PDF, 1 page)

Brainstorm: The Power & Purpose of the Teenage Brain

By learning how brain development impacts teenagers' behavior and relationships, adults and teens can work together to form a deeper understanding of the brain science behind all the tumult to turn conflict into connection and form a deeper understanding of one another.

Learn More

Book - Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus by Mark Yaconelli

Contemplative Youth Ministry

“Contemplative Youth Ministry is refreshing rain for dry youth workers and barren youth ministries. More than the same old youth ministry tips and tricks, it gives principles and practices to soak in God’s grace, love, and power.” - Kara Powell, Ph.D., executive director, Center for Youth Ministry and Family Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary.

How Youth Lead

Supporting the faithful leadership development of our young people is a cornerstone of the way Unitarian Universalists do youth ministry. This report catalogues the various opportunities for youth leadership within our association, strategies for supporting youth leadership and data on how exactly youth are leading in our association.

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