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100 tips for staff

Tip 1 - 11

In 1.Corinthians 9, 22-27 the staff member is compared with a competitive runner with a clear goal, good preparation, austerity and full effort. Anyone who wants to invite others to be faithful may not be „unqualified” themselves and give up in the middle of the race.

  1. Have clear goals

    Having clear goals is always important – and not only in youth work. Anyone who does not have any goals, or does not set themselves any goals will wake up one day and say: „What am I doing here?” With a goal in front of you it is much easier to work towards it.

  2. Apply all of your energy and do not waste time on unnecessary things

    Do you recognise that? You have planned something but keep getting pulled off track by 100 other things. Lots of the things we do are unnecessary, simply hold us back and do not lead to anything. Sometimes we call this: „nice to have“, but not really necessary. Save your energy and time and apply it to something which brings to closer to your goal then you can really pull out all the stops.

  3. Be a role model in everything

    As a member of staff and as a leader you have something to say. You stand in the spotlight in front of the kids, in front of the parents and in front of the community. If you do not stand there as a role model no one will buy your words or your actions. In fact parents are not likely to send their children to your group or to camp if they see or hear that you do not take your role model function seriously. Staff members can only become such if they can be, are and want to be a role model.

  4. Invite others to believe.

    Ok, we have just heard that the primary basis for being a staff member is the role model function. Once this role model function has been fulfilled you can invite others to believe, just like Jesus as he gave the missionary orders. Christian youth work without inviting others to accept faith in the holy trinity and to follow a life with Jesus is not really Christian youth work. Inviting others to believe is not always easy and is often disappointing (more on this subject later). However the invitation remains and the missionary orders remain. Do not express yourself out of fear and lukewarm faith. Have the courage and trust in Jesus.

  5. Only those who are not unqualified and do not give up can invite others to believe

    Oh no, another stumbling block. Maybe I can pretend to be a role model (sometimes appearances are deceiving), but it soon comes out that I am not qualified to invite others to believe. I give up, bail out and do not want to continue. Being a member of staff means „stamina“, „not giving up“, „standing up again and again“. You do not have to be the fastest, you do not have to be the best but giving up does not count. What do you think happens if you give up? Some of the children will go with you and give up as well and that would be a shame. Try to stand your faith up on steady feet, have a strong foundation and try to continue to grow in your faith. Defeats are possible and perfectly normal but standing up again is important. If the kids notice that your faith is littered with highs and lows but that you still hold onto your goal then the kids will believe in your faith and will accept your invitation to be a follower of Jesus.

  6. Consider others who are still unsure of their faith

    There are „old hats” and „new comers” in a group. There are also differences among the individual members of the group in their faith. They have all had different experiences with faith. It certainly is not easy for a group leader to „bring them all under one umbrella” but remember this and consider everyone – especially those whose faith is a little weaker or who are unsure.

In 1.Corinthians 10, 31 there is something quite interesting which can be useful for members of staff. A role model function is certainly not valid if you are seen to be fond of a drink and get drunk at every celebration or even try to keep up with your youths in drinking (competitions). I think about the German saying: who does the damage does not need to worry about the taunts. In this reference is also: "Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God!" Think about the things you do (or don’t do) every day and consider whether it honours God. Imagine that Jesus is accompanying you. What would his comment be?

  1. Do it all for the glory of God, remember that when eating and drinking

    Who hasn’t heard of it before, experienced it themselves or even taken part in a drinking binge? If even the members of staff fill themselves up or just let kids be kids so that they can have fun themselves, it is not exactly for the glory of God, is not a role model function and might even lead to negligence of the supervision and care duties. Obviously the example with the drinking session is extreme but it has been known to happen. Take another example: burping, farting, swearing and gossiping. These things are certainly not for the glory of God and not exactly role model material. Imagine that your kids go home and tell their parents how good YOU (the youth leader) could fart and burp on the camp. No one was as good as you! Hm, I think that will give you a few minus points with the parents.

The bible reference from 1. Corinthians 12 is certainly well known. Community is compared to a human body. Everybody in this society has special talents and tasks. It is only ideal when everyone is together. Single-handed players don’t lead to anything because an organ (=a member of staff) is actually useless alone.

  1. No one can do things alone, single-handed players have no use

    There is no such thing as an all-round leader. No one can do everything and anyone who believes that he can, will soon notice that one or two things do start to go wrong and maybe the person himself at the end of it all. Everyone will notice that things work better in a team. Obviously you have to work differently in a team, consider others and agree on things but it is simpler and requires less resources. I always find it great when you have staff members who you can count on, who take over certain tasks and perform them well. Then I can concentrate on my tasks. If I try to push myself in everywhere and want to do everything myself, then I am bound to only manage the half. Lots of things are started and not finished.

  2. Everyone has special skills and must apply them optimally

    Think about the staff you have for a moment. What can some do really well and some less well. What are the strengths and weaknesses? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Those who can apply the right strengths in the right place, help the whole group unbelievably. Community work, especially youth work, is carried out by several individuals. The program variety can only be achieved by the variety of skills which are applied correctly. Not everyone has to master and do everything, but do what they can. Everyone builds the kingdom of God with their gifts. Everyone has just the same value and importance with their strengths and weaknesses as anyone else with their strengths and weaknesses. In the economic world, the aim is to achieve the largest profit possible with the best use of resources. It is also similar here. Your youth work can only be success if it is collectively and optimally engaged.

In 1.Corinthians 16, 13-16 the theme is that every member of staff may not be too timid and indecisive. There is the talk of vigilance and it is certainly meant to show that there are influences which can bring your faith and your decisiveness off course. In verses 15 and 16 Paul refers to a member of staff with family from whom we can learn something.

  1. Be decisive and courageous

    Do you know the situation where you intend to do something but do not really know if you should definitely do it? We often lack the courage to decide. If we have decided to undertake something we often lack the decisiveness to see it through to the end. These up and downs in courage and the indecisiveness is not good. Maybe we are also lacking our own opinion or our own internal solidity. Then some people my start to sway and fall down. Kids look for role models. The kids honour you when they see that you know what you want, are decisive, courageous and focused.

  2. Listen to those who work with you and give their best (listen to each other, learn from each other)

    We can learn something too. Even if you have been in youth work for years you can still learn something from others. That might also lead to you changing or optimising something about one or two aspects of your youth work.

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