Power of Networking (In Ymin) 2 of 3
Power of Networking in Youth Ministry
We’ve talked in Yesterday’s Post about the first four reasons you are better in a network. The first four were 1) Brainstorming, 2) Resource Sharing, 3) Increased Knowledge Base and 4) Accountability. Today, I’m going to discuss three more:
5) Fellowship and Encouragement
The only people who get you, what you go through, and understand what you are going through are the people most like you! Other youth workers understand what that 5 am phone call feels like; they get that you can do everything in your power not to have someones underwear frozen on a flagpole on winter retreat, yet still have to deal with the unsympathetic parent; they get the expectations that you have to live under (boss, parents, family, students, boards, fellow staff) and they get that for each person, it can seem to change… Meeting together helps fight off burnout. They help encourage you and be there for you in ways that those you work with and for can’t. They understand why this isn’t about moving up to the “Big League’s” one day. They understand your calling, when the world doesn’t.
6) Collaborative Opportunities
Some things are fine to do with a smaller youth ministry. Other times, the more the merrier!! There’s a cumulative effect in certain events like worship, rocking out to a Christian Band, and camps (among others) that seem to grow and deepen the relationships that the students have with each other and with God. In some settings, this may help students realize further that they are NOT ALONE, and that there are others who are in Jr and Sr. High School dealing with and coping with the same things. It’s tragic that I only found out that a bunch of people in my High School were sold out Christians only after I left High School. (Would have made it a tad less lonely… ) If you don’t get this, read Stone Soup. Great Book On the Power of Collaboration.
7) Soul Care
Like Fellowship and Encouragement, and along the lines of accountability is soul care. A group of fellow youth workers can get together and care for each others souls like no other. You can worship, play, teach, exhort, each others with an eye out for your soul. SYM started a soul care ministry recently that is great, I’d also advise you doing that with people who are close enough to be there for you physically when you need it.