What color are you? What animal type describes you? What combination of the alphabet are you? If you were a fruit, what would you be and why? Sound familiar? At some time in our lives we’ve heard all these questions in some form or another. We’ve been in job interviews, or on staff retreats or in a school counselor’s office trying to find just the right way to describe our personality. We have been told that there’s a particular description or combination of letters (INJF, ABCD…blah, blah) that will nail our traits down to the very last detail.
You see, youth workers are often seen as the fun ones, the free spirits, the creative and scattered. And while these are great traits, our youth and their families deserve more! They deserve intentional planning for their discipleship journeys. Unfortunately I continue to see youth workers living into these perceptions rather than raising the expectations and showing that we are professionals capable of much more than planning awesome games.
And why is this shift so important, you say? Well, there are a couple reasons. First, by changing the perception of the “type,” we show our youth (and our congregations) that all types can be called to youth ministry as a career. Personally, I had ruled out youth ministry as an option early on because the game portion of Sunday night youth group was the part that I dreaded the most! How in the world was I ever going to be a youth minister if I didn’t like playing games?! But someone reminded me that God calls us all because we all have gifts to share…and I quickly found that one of my gifts was to recognize someone who really likes games and put them in charge of that part of the programming!
Knowing who you are is important. Knowing that the person you are can be called to any form of ministry because of the person you are, not the “type” you fit, is vital to building the Kingdom.
Michelle guides us through the organized side of youth ministry in her course with BeADisciple.
Michelle Moore is the Director of Program and Marketing for Camp and Retreat Ministries as well as Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church. She has been involved in Youth Ministry roles ranging from volunteer, intern, part-time, and full-time roles for over 12 years. She also serves as the Adult Coordinator for the Arkansas Conference Council on Youth Ministries for the United Methodist Church, overseeing youth and adults who are charged with planning seven state-wide youth events each year. She loves to organize, plan, be productive and to help others do the same. You can see some her her tips on her website.
Moore is a 2006 graduate of Hendrix College from which she received a degree in Religious Studies. She received her Masters in Specialized Ministry with an emphasis in Youth Ministry from Southwestern College. She also has her Certification in Youth Ministry through Perkins School of Theology.
Main post image credit: Seth Lemmons from Boise, Unites States (09-September_qwest_pie_throwing_0121) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons