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Depression TrainingIt’s the most wonderful time of the year, yet so many students deal with difficult issues of depression and hopelessness during this season. While the holidays are enjoyable for many, it’s also a dreaded time for those who are dealing with hurt and pain.

The following video was filmed during a leadership meeting with our student ministry leaders this year. The lead trainers are licensed professional counselors specializing in depression, self injury, and suicide.

Hope you’ll find this resource helpful as you lead and/or parent students during the Christmas season!

If you watch this video, it will help you:

  • Identify the signs and symptons of depression
  • Know the reasons why a student may experience depression
  • See how depression in teens differs from adults
  • Understand how you can know if a student is just going through a difficult time or is experiencing depression
  • Recognize the events that increase the risk of depression in teens
  • Know five things you can do to help a teen dealing with depression
  • Know things you should say and the things you should avoid saying
  • Understand why people self injure (most common form is cutting)
  • Realize the warning signs and progression of self injury
  • Understand how to help those dealing with self injury
  • Understand the warning signs for potential suicide
  • Know the four things you can do to help a teen dealing with suicide

If you would like the powerpoint that accompanies this video, all you have to do is subscribe (it’s free!) to this blog. You’ll be sent a link to download the powerpoint. Click here to watch the training.

If you need the help of a licensed professional counselor, feel free to call Paraclete Counseling Center.

Matt Lawson

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“What are you teaching your leaders when you get together for training?”

This is probably the most frequent question we field from other youth pastors, from both large churches as well as smaller churches.

Consider these basic questions to ask yourself before planning a calendar year of training:

  • How often are we going to train? Monthly, weekly quarterly or a combination of several?
  • What are the primary categories all of our training should focus on? Reaching, teaching, relationships, youth culture, technology, personal leadership, etc?
  • What are the elements that each training should contain? I’ve written on some of the essentials that each leadership meeting should contain.

We’ve tried nearly every format for training our leaders from discussion based round tables, lecture format, as well as topical breakout options led by our own leaders. Below you can download two of our previous years training schedules.

2010-2011 Leader Meeting Training Schedule

2009-2010 Leader Meeting Training Schedule

[These training schedules are for our small group leaders. Training topics may look vastly different for other type leaders (ie. greeters, cafe, camp, etc)]

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Healthy ministries have healthy leadership teams. Healthy leadership teams don’t just happen, they’re equipped and empowered.

6 Ways to Add Value to Leadership Meetings

In our context, we facilitate equipping and empowering primarily through monthly leadership meetings (except June and December).

When we recruit leaders we tell them that leadership meeting is the most important thing we do every month (outside of our small group time). We’ve learned that leaders will place importance on this time if, and only if, the meetings have value. It’s been a learning process for us in facilitating an hour and a half every month that adds value. I’m the first to admit that I’ve hosted quite a few meetings that were not worth my leader’s time!

This past year, however, (2011-12) we averaged 79% of classes attending our meetings. Our goal is 80%. That’s a significant improvement over years past. We’re happy with the progress. Here’s a few things we’ve done this year that we believe have helped add value to our leader’s time and ministry and increased our attendance.

1. Set up a collaborative learning environment
Our most effective meetings (based on feedback from leaders) typically happens when more than just the person training (typically me) has a chance to speak into the learning process. Because of that, we set up our meeting space with round tables. We place our leaders at tables with small group leaders who teach in the same grade and gender.

2. Allow time for leaders to get to know each other
We do this at the beginning so they are already inclined to talk when we get into our training time.

3. Use background music to encourage conversation
When we throw discussion questions to the tables, we’ve found that a little background noise helps facilitate conversation. I think it helps leaders not feel like they are being overheard at another table or maybe it just helps drown out the next tables discussion.

4. Have a clear learning destination
Our training always focuses on one of three general topics…process, purpose, or proficiency. Leaders should walk away with at least one specific application for their ministry area. For our most recent meeting, we had two destinations…(1) Establishing a small group routine and (2) What to do in the 1st 30 days with my group.

5. Cast vision
Vision is more attractive than need. Vision motivates the journey. While a leader may have come to your ministry because of your need, they will stick because of your vision.

6. Celebrate the activity of God
Student ministry is a messy, difficult calling. Telling the stories of God’s activity helps leaders remember why we came here in the first place.

Why do you think leadership meetings have difficulty gaining traction?

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This was our volunteer leadership training for November. The three purposes our small groups leaders are recruited to fulfill are REACH, TEACH, & RELATE. This session defines these three purposes and then identifies what a WIN looks like both inside the small group teaching hour and then outside that time.

You can download the training here [Word doc] →  What Am I Doing

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This is the content of our spring leadership training and are the defining “wins” for our leaders in their TEACHING responsibilities.

1. Passion
Teaching with Passion communicates this matters

Passion is more than excitement, though essential. Passion is talking to every student who comes through the door. It’s engaging in every conversation. It’s genuine interest in questions and conversations. Passion is the leader setting the atmosphere.

2. Skills
Demonstrating the right skills communicates this is convincing

Essential skills include preparation, presentation, and teaching methods.

3. Truth
Teaching sound biblical truth communicates this is right

All else is lost without teaching accurately the Word of God. Clearing up uncertainty about a passage or chapter or theme is critical before carelessly engaging students. Helps include commentaries, bible encyclopedias, and basic bible interpretation principles.

4. Relationship
Developed relationships both inside and outside class communicates this is believable

Healthy relationships outside of class help students give you their time and attention. Developing a system of communication with students outside of class will help you both organize your time and understand who you are teaching and often how to make application.

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Developing training for leaders can be a difficult task to (1) assess what’s needed, (2) write the material (or find it), and (3) lead the session. We offer monthly training for our leaders on the 3rd Sunday of every month. Here’s the training from yesterday on teaching to different learning styles. Our interns did a fantastic job developing and leading this session. Feel free to use with your own leaders.

TOPIC: Creative Teaching for Different Learning Styles
SESSION: Eight Learner-Teacher Approaches
PURPOSE: Evaluate your personal teaching style and adapt different methods in order to effectively communicate truth
SET UP: 8 learner stations [we used 16 to faciliate smaller groups and more interaction]
DIVIDE GROUPS: As leaders arrived, they chose a pack of gum that had a number on it. That number corresponded with the learner station table number they were to start the training with. They left with a pack of gum!

SCHEDULE:
Hang Out, Food & Annoucements [20 minutes]
Intro Training [5 minutes]
Learner Stations [32 minutes] – 8 different learner stations that leaders will experience
Debrief & Wrap Up [12 minutes] – Summary of the 8 Learner-Teacher Approaches and specific application for each

LEARNER STATIONS
1. Talk sheets – a resource from Youth Specialties that’s good for small group discussions about relevant topics
2. Markers and large paper or white board – draw your idea of the perfect teenager
3. Would you rather – another YS resource for ice breakers (also good is The Complete Book of Questions: 1001 Conversation Starters for Any Occasion)
4. Bible – read directly out of the Bible
5. Marshmallows/Spaghetti – build a tower or anything else with large marshmallows and dried spaghetti
6. Powerpoint game – have two teams compete to buzz in and answer trivia questions (simplyyouthministry.com has a page full of free powerpoint games to download)
7. Spontaneous Melodramas – YS resource with quick Bible-related skits that require no preparation
8. Collage – teams use large sheets of colored paper, newspaper, scissors, and glue sticks to make a collage (you can give a topic or let them come up with something on their own)

8 LEARNER-TEACHER APPROACHES [hint: most of your students will learn best by #3 & #6]
1. Verbal/Linguistic
Learning by writing, speaking, reading, listening
2. Logical/Mathematical
Learning by problem solving, asking questions, experimentation, debate
3. Visual/Spatial
Learning by painting, drawing, reading maps, making patterns or designs
4. Bodily/Kinesthetic
Learning by dance, exercise, drama, role-play, sports
5. Musical/Rhythmic
Learning by singing, listening to music, playing instruments
6. Interpersonal/Relational
Learning by interaction with others, working in groups, presentations, demonstrations, discussions
7. Intrapersonal/Reflective
Learning by meditation, thinking deeply, goal setting, guided daydreaming
8. Natural/Biological
Learning by experiencing nature, exploring and processing outdoors, metaphors from biology and nature

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: check out the resource page for other free leader training and small group resources. Also check out the Sunday School in HD resource offering a 4 session DVD based training for leaders complete with leader notes, handouts, and powerpoints.

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Agree or disagree with this statement?  “Your system is perfectly designed to get the results you are getting”

Take a second to think about the system you have in place for recruiting and training adult volunteers. Is your system producing the results you need or want to move your ministry forward? 

BAD NEWS:  If you’re not getting the results that you’re looking for, and yet you have been working hard, does that mean that your system is flawed?

GOOD NEWS:  Once you accept this premise, now you can start looking for what it is you can change in your design to significantly improve your results.

Let me propose a three part process for recruiting and training volunteers that includes:

CREATING MOMENTUM – part 1
CAPTURING MOMENTUM – part 2
SUSTAINING MOMENTUM – part 3

 

CREATING MOMENTUM
Think recruiting/exposure – this is the recruiting process

There are 3 basic sales methods used in recruiting. Your need for volunteers will be communicated in one (or a combination) of these ways: 

  1. Need – “We need 7 more small group bible study leaders to start the new year.”
  2. Duty – “You’re not serving? If you’re a Christian, it’s your duty to serve.”
  3. Vision – “Have you met Austin? God’s doing some incredible things in his life and we need more adult leaders to invest in students like Austin.”

Which of the above do you think is the most effective method for communicating your need?

ANSWER: Vision is always the most compelling strategy for communicating your need.

ACTION: Right now, think about your strategies (process) for recruiting new leaders. What has worked well? What needs to be tweaked? What needs to be deleted?

BOTTOM LINE: There are tons of creative strategies (letters, 1-on-1 conversations, social media, Pastor announcement, volunteer interest day, etc.), BUT the #1 RECRUITING STRATEGY IS RELATIONSHIPS.

PART 2 OF:  3 Essentials for Recruiting and Training a Better Team will dive into “Capturing Momentum” or new leader training.

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Matt trains adult leaders and youth pastors nearly every month. If you’re interested in having Matt at your training, visit here

Haven’t figured out the right ingredients yet for building an explosive adult leadership team? Relax, the majority of us aren’t there yet either…me included.  However, any youth ministry that is running on all cylinders MUST have a firm grip on recruiting and training adult leaders.

Here are a few thoughts to get you thinking…

  1. The average turnover of volunteers is about 30% each year.
  2. We look for people who are committed, not necessarily competent   because…
  3. We recruit people to a team, not to a ministry.
  4. Luke 10:2 “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
  5. Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand with me in the gap…but I found none.”
  6. Every great organization has a system.
  7. TRIANGLE PRINCIPLE: When you expand your leadership BASE, you increase the potential for your organization to GROW
  8. Any System You Develop Must Be WORKED in Order to WORK
  9. If we understand training as not simply getting a volunteer to teach better, but to actually progress towards becoming a holistic leader, it will change (and complicate) our training process. 
  10. Well rounded leaders last longer, have a greater investment in our ministry, have a greater buy-in to our ministry. 

Spring (our major recruiting season) is coming so I’m processing our process and how to improve.  What are you thoughts on recruiting a great adult team?

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YOUTH PASTORS, YOUTH VOLUNTEERS, CHURCH STAFF MEMBERS: Join us for two hours of Student Ministry training as well as a free lunch catered by Chick-fil-A on Thursday, October 21st from 10:00am-12:30pm! Sponsored by Student Leadership University and Chick-fil-a

FEATURED SPEAKERS:

Jay Strack, CEO | Student Leadership University

Leadership in government, business, and educational entities proclaim Dr. Jay Strack to be a dynamic communicator and author. Jay is the author of several highly acclaimed books, including: The Three Success Secrets of Shamgar. As President and founder of Student Leadership University, the premiere, global leadership training for students. he has successfully merged the classroom with behind the scenes “edu-tainment” experiences in Orlando, San Diego, San Antonio, Washington D.C., England, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Spain, thus providing a customized environment for learning.

Ryan Bowman, Sr. Training Consultant | Chick-Fil-A

Ryan has been with Chick-fil-A for 20 years (spending time as a Unit team member, team leader, Temporary Operator, and Home Office staff member). He is currently a Sr. Training Consultant and a member of the Leadership Development Team of Training and Development. This team is charged with championing the development of leaders throughout the organization. He has presented Chick-fil-A’s SERVE leadership model and the Chick-fil-A business model to many different audiences and in several countries including Romania, Thailand, Kenya, Ukraine, and Jordan.

LOCATION:

First Baptist Woodstock
Warehouse | High School Side
11905 Hwy 92
Woodstock, Ga 30188

DATE/TIME:

Thursday, October 28, 2010
10:00am-12:30pm

COST:

Free!!

EXTRAS:

Giveaways, Resources

RSVP:

RSVP by Tuesday, October 19th to christine.boggs@fbcw.net or call 678-494-2653

 

Check it out on Facebook

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Last week I discovered a new youth ministry blog as a result of a backlink to my blog from one of their pages. Turns out, the blog is chocked full of great ideas for volunteers in the trenches. Actually, Dennis is a volunteer himself at Saddleback and has a blog dedicated solely to helping other ym volunteers.

In today’s post, Dennis writes about what he’s doing this year to come alongside the families of students in his small group. Here are a few of his ideas…Read the full post here

1. A synopsis of what we study each week
2. An idea or two to reinforce the concept at home
3. A way to relate to their kids (my small group students)
4. A note to brag about how great their kids are
5. A picture or two of a group activity

Way to go Dennis! Thanks for what you do!

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