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100 tips for staff

Tip 12 - 23

The reference in 2.Corinthians 3, 4-5 also gives two important guidelines. You can risk a lot when you have trust in God. He will give you power even if you think "I will never manage it". He will give you’re the power to say one or two (unpopular) things to your group. However – and it mentioned here as well – you should always remember: nothing works without God.

  1. Nothing will happen on your own steam

    Anyone who thinks it is possible to do everything on their own steam will be taught otherwise sooner or later. Your own power will never be enough to move something permanently. Sooner or later you will be exhausted – empty and dried up like a sponge which was moist before. With God’s power it can be different. Then you can move a lot.

  2. Trust in God in everything

    With trust in God you can really make things move, even things where you yourself say: „I can’t do that” but with God, you can! Learning to trust is not so easy. The prerequisite for trust is that I give something up and place it in someone else’s hands. Try it out and experience one or two positive surprises.

In 2.Corinthians 4, 1-13 comes the important part for staff members. This job, which God has given us, is one which costs us a lot of strength and with which we can sometimes lose our courage or lust, not to mention the fact that the most of them don’t listen anyway, don’t want to accept Jesus and certainly won’t stick at it for a life time. There are two things you should not do: first of all, don’t let yourself get put down and secondly, do not resort to tricks.

  1. Do not lose courage

    Have you had no courage whatsoever before? Have you tried everything and tried your hardest but nothing came of it? In such situations you can often lose courage and come to the conclusion: „I cannot do that anyway. It makes no sense anymore!” Oh yes, youth work is tiring and there are not only nice times. There are also enough low punches and defeats. After the tenth disappointment, you give up. That is wrong. It is simply a fact that God’s word is not accepted with the same joy everywhere. In fact the opposite is true. You should count on resistance and confrontation. Do not let yourself be pulled off course.

  2. Avoid tricks

    If we notice that it is not working with the usual methods we often turn to tricks to try and convince someone. We tell them about „how great” a life with Jesus is. We tell them that it is like in paradise and that all of the problems are solved with Jesus. We might try to interpret parts of the bible to suit our own taste. Those who try to win over the kids with Jesus like this are doing a lot of things wrong. Anyone who tries to talk the kids into devoting their life to Jesus is also in the wrong. Anyone who realises later that they were “talked into something” or that “not everything goes without difficulties” will be all the more disappointed from faith. There are enough examples in the bible of how a life with Jesus is more difficult than a life without HIM. Do not make a secret of this! Obviously it is fantastic if a child or youth decides to follow Jesus but ask for the reasons first. Maybe you should also recommend that they reconsider quite carefully. It is a bit like the small print in a contract. Anyone who does not read the small print may experience one or two surprises later. Therefore do not hide any secrets, do not falsify things and do not manipulate them.

  3. Do not put yourself at the centre of attention

    We should actually be talking about Jesus and putting him at the centre of things. However it often happens that we place ourselves at the centre of things. Place Jesus at the centre of your devotion and your preaching and not you and your opinion. There are also youth leaders who love to hear themselves talking and cannot do one thing: listen.

  4. Accept that not everyone wants to listen to and accept and follow Jesus

    It is simply a fact that God’s word is not accepted with the same joy everywhere. In fact the opposite is true. You should count on resistance and confrontation. You can easily become helpless. However one day should not happen: that we start to despair, that we lose the courage to pass on God’s word or that we end our task. You should simply accept that there are always children and youths (adults as well of course) who simply do not want to hear, find preaching, devotion and prayer bothersome and will never take on God’s word.

  5. Do not let yourself be pushed down even when it is coming from all sides

    Once again: do not lose the courage, do not give up, even when you are pressed from all sides. You must simply prove your stability. Your faith can prevent you falling. God will not leave you in the lurch. Paul had known that and he had also taken much upon himself (even danger to his life) so that others could find their faith through his unwavering efforts. How much easier is our youth work today? And how many people let themselves be put down by a little resistance? Anyone who chooses the path with the least resistance will probably not get very far in youth work.

  6. If you believe in Jesus you must talk about him

    I think that this is a super saying: „I believe therefore I speak!” Anyone who has the desire to pass on their faith to others can understand his saying. Anyone who has experienced for themselves how Jesus has changed their own life wants to pass it on. Paul was actually a persecutor of Christians and as Saul turned into Paul he had to talk about Jesus. No one could stop him from doing this, although many beatings were put in his way. „I believe, therefore I talk – over and out!” I wish that every youth leader could have lots of faith and that no one has little faith. Little faith is faith at half mast and leads to half the success of proclamation in the youth group. You can talk to children and youths about faith – do not be scared. With devotion or a longer piece of bible work – if it is done interestingly – your group will not fall apart. Unfortunately some are scared and prefer to do without regularly devotions in fear that their group will not come back again. Do these people know the saying: „I believe, therefore I talk!”?

The things in 2.Corinthians 8, 16-21 are still valid today: The careful dealings with money. Almost every group has a group treasury – usually with little money rather than lots of money. The person who is in charge of the treasury is subject to the dangers of being put under suspect. Therefore it is recommended: deal with things knowledgeably – not only towards God but also towards other members of staff.

  1. Deal with money carefully

    I think about the story with the entrusted money (e.g. in the Gospel according to Matthew 25, 14-30). This parable does not really have anything to do with money but means that we should apply God’s gifts correctly and profitably and this also relevant with money. Using money correctly is a big responsibility. Careful and truthful use is therefore very important.

  2. Careful use of money has hidden dangers and leads to suspicion

    Nothing can destroy a community more than suspicion or slander and who doesn’t know the saying: „Friendship stops at money.” To make sure that money does not destroy your community you need to deal with it carefully and transparently.

In Philippians 1, 7-9 it is not exactly a direct tip for members of staff but two tips can be derived from Paul as a role model. First of all: Your youth work should be a matter of the heart – it is not a normal job, but a lot more. The second tip is: pray for your kids.

  1. The work and your charges should be in your heart (a matter of the heart)

    Paul was there with all of his heart and his soul. It was very important to him that the communities which he visited, in which he had worked, made progress with their faith. Ask yourself very truthfully how much your group members – every single one – means to you! Or do you think that you can forget them for another week once the 90 minute group session is over? Youth work is not a job; it is a matter of the heart. You can reach the kids with your heart.

  2. Pray for those entrusted to you

    We can learn this from Paul too. He did not just do (visible) things for the communities; he also placed every single prayer in God’s hand. When did you last pray for your group or for individuals from the group? When was the last time you prayed for those who you don’t get on so well with or who just make problems?

Go to Tip 24 - 44

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