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100 tips for staff

Tip 24 - 44

In Philippians 2,1-4 there are also no direct tips for members of staff or „community leaders“ but there are tips which deal with being together. That is important for all members of a community because together we are strong. We can only carry each other and support each other together.

  1. Orientate yourself toward Jesus

    What is at the centre and the direction in which your staff circle is going? Such a staff circle can often lose their sense of direction. Jesus is then no longer at the centre of things and other interests are followed.

  2. Stick together

    We are only strong together. You can move more together than one person alone. This means that sticking together is important – also in work. Lone workers often have a more difficult time. Those who fight on together often have things much easier.

  3. Have the same goal

    It must not necessarily be the case that only one opinion counts but everyone should have the same direction, the same goal and the same orientation. It would be dreadful if you were all rowing the boat but in different directions.

  4. Do not let destructive things occur

    Once the seeds of discord are sewn, it doesn’t matter what the cause is, the spark can turn into a forest fire. A community which worked beautifully before might be destroyed by something small. Before you know it, it is too late. You should therefore watch out and do not let it get that far.

  5. Do not put yourself first

    Everyone is closest to themselves and everyone has enough problems and things to do. We find it difficult to apply ourselves to the needs of others and especially when it is not your duty and might not appear in “your description of duties”. It is easier to think about ourselves first than to think about others. Always thinking about your own advantages first makes you egoistic as if to say: „Everyone just thinks about themselves, I’ll think about myself!” It is not easy to put others before yourself. This „selflessness” is however an important „success factor” in youth work, because it guarantees willing intent and proves that you „love thy neighbour (your group members)”.

Here in 1. Timothy 3, 1-13 there is an abundance of characteristics which a member of staff should have to be able to lead a group. Those really are concrete tips!

  1. Exemplary moral conduct

    The role model function comes up here again. You should not only be a role model in the 90 minute group sessions or on the camp but at all times.

  2. A good teacher

    A teacher tries to teach their kids something and should have patience and creativity. There are also teachers who just reel off their program and do not care if the kids are following it or not. That would not be so good so make sure that you teach your kids something and make sure that they learn something from you.

  3. No drinker

    It is actually a clear instruction to all group leaders. „A little sip never hurt anyone” is often the case but make sure that you do not make the impression that you are a boozer. I have experienced and also heard reports of some youth leaders and their (private) drinking sessions that I have to ask myself if alcohol does not play too high a role. Drinking sessions, or even drinking competitions with children and youths is not permitted due to youth protection laws. We do not have to deal with the subject any further at this stage. This part of the bible deals with you as a youth leader and with your point of view on alcohol.

  4. Do not be attached to money

    A German proverb says that „money spoils character“. Anyone who is attached to their money cannot give anything. A youth leader probably doesn’t have much anyway as most members of staff do not earn anything and do not have a career yet. There is no money to be made in voluntary youth work anyway. Despite this, take this advice to heart and attach your heart to Jesus and not to money. An example of this is the „Story of the rich youth”. He wanted to follow Jesus but he was also so attached to his money that he could not quite decide to give himself fully to Jesus.

  5. Do not be short-tempered

    This is a difficult challenge. When 20 kids are running around or 2-3 of them are really being difficult and bringing everything out of sync then shouldn’t we „go off it” and get annoyed? Young leaders can be especially hot-headed and quickly lose their nerves. They can quickly say something they do not mean such as „you stupid child” or „you bed wetter” or might even threaten to hit a child, or even worse, really take a swing at someone. It always causes damage to a child even if the things the child did were not OK. You will also lose out, especially if you do not talk to the child about the incident afterwards and apologise to the child. Therefore try to keep control of your temper, pray in these types of situations and say to yourself „do not get annoyed now!“. Talking to other members of staff can also help you.

  6. Do not look for an argument

    There are always enough reasons and opportunities to argue with group members. In most cases, you are the dominant one, both physically and mentally, but what use is that? You are the winner and have been proved right again. The losers will clear the place and you can then close down your group. This is expressed somewhat to the extreme but it should show you that arguments do not bring anything. Obviously you can state your opinion and justify it but let others have their opinion too and do not argue with everyone else. Arguments can also occur among staff members, so that an argumentative „play off against each other” can emerge.

  7. Be kind hearted

    Be accommodating and ready to help. If the kids notice that they can come to you with their worries, questions and concerns, that you take time for them and apply yourself for them it shows your kindness. You provide them with time and attention.

  8. Be placid

    This is the requirement for peaceful behaviour and avoiding being argumentative. The members of staff who never have an argument with anyone, who never have a bad word to say about others, who are (usually) always in a good mood, who are open, ready to help and kind hearted, these are the staff members who are generally respected and appreciated by the kids.

  9. Live in "orderly" proportions

    Your private life is meant here. Anyone to changes their girlfriend as often as their underwear and those who cannot keep any order in their private life, will also be chaotic in youth work. Obviously “disorderly private affairs” can also have an effect on your youth work. You might end up being busier with your own private affairs and not have as much inclination to engage yourself for your group.

  10. Be grown up in your faith

    You cannot tell others about faith if you do not have faith yourself. You cannot help other people further and bring them on if you are at the beginning of the journey yourself. In Hebrews 5,11 Paul was really angry that the Hebrews were not so developed in their faith that they could instruct others. An important success factor for Christian youth work is therefore: Be grown up in your faith and try to collect as many experiences in faith as possible. This is the only way to pass on your life (and faith) experiences.

  11. Keep a sense of proportion

    A good sense of proportion or the ability to assess is very important. You must be clear about yourself and your capabilities. You must also be able to evaluate and assess your kids correctly. Anyone who overestimates them or thinks they are capable of more will have problems. There always consider: What can I do myself and what can the group members manage? What is realistic and what would be over-exaggerated and unrealistic?

  12. Do not be boastful

    Boastful youth workers are not very well accepted by the kids. Show-offs do not have any place in youth work because, apart from a load of babble, there is nothing behind the façade. With boastful youth leaders who really let the kids know about their „powerful position” they will all automatically feel like second class citizens.

  13. Be truthful and believable

    You can always admit that you have made a mistake as a youth leader. No one is perfect! Credibility has something to do with the way you talk and act. You become unauthentic when your words do not match the things you do. You become unauthentic when you talk about things and do not do them.

  14. Do not focus on profit

    Financial profits are not available in youth work however we mean that you should not focus on things which are profitable to you but on those which profit your kids. Cash profits are not important. What is important is that the children and youths find their faith.

  15. Prove themselves first and then become a staff member

    All too often we tend to take on everyone who says that they want to become a member of staff. Lots of people simply find it fantastic to find themselves in a staff role. However lots of members of staff are just as quick to leave as they were to be employed. It would certainly be better to wait a little and maybe “try it out” first with little opportunities for testing whether they would be suitable as members of staff. If a youth leader still says that the want to work after a year then it seems to be a long-term desire and not just a spontaneous wish. We cleverly let these youths perform smaller tasks over the year by incorporating them in one or two group sessions or as an assistant on a holiday camp.

  16. Emit joy and confidence

    Happiness, a wide smile and confidence have an effect on the kids. Anyone who is in a bad mood and goes into the group session in a hopeless state full of disinclination transfers this state onto the youths and kids. They do not need to wonder why the kids cannot be bothered with the program. People who emit joy and confidence motivate others. However your joyfulness, confidence and enthusiasm are not so catching that everyone will be thrilled. Joy and confidence are two important success factors for motivated and enthusiastic youth work.

Go to Tip 45 - 52

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