In this episode, Tom Shefchunas spends time sharing about what it's like connecting students during the current state of church ministry and ways they have prioritized building relationships. Coach Shef also shares the importance of shaping youth ministries to focus on the quality of relationships with leaders and students rather than just the programming.

Tom Shefchunas (Coach Shef)

Connect with Coach Shef through his Website and on the YS Whiteboard.

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Student Ministry focus during COVI-19:

  • Partnering with Parents
    • never been more important
    • never have parents wanted more input; they are open to it
  • Being Present 
    • Especially in the digital world
    • Avoiding isolation
      • work your list and connect
      • the more senses you can hit, the better
  • Work ON your ministry
    • Rather than just working IN IT right now, work ON IT and gett it better while we wait

Overview of When Relationships Matter:

  • Creating a ministry that a kid won't miss because of someone who will miss them
    • Can't systematize relationships
    • 1,000 different little things that will help to make relationships matter
  • Concerts, Classrooms, and Circles
    • Key Question: Is a relational connection a PART of your program, or the POINT of your program?
    • Adjust your talk to not be “complete” to leave room for discussion
    • Communication for a Change – leave it to the small group leader to make the connection to the content

Things to do to prepare for and work toward this type of ministry:

  • Think through the people who would be amazing leaders with students
    • If you have more than one gender, or more than 10 kids, YOU NEED to recruit
    • Cast vision for walking with students for a season
  • Create an active roster of your students
    • KNOW your kids
    • Know if your attendance is growing because more kids are coming, or kids are coming more often (and why)
    • Systems you can measure
  • Where do you start with leader commitments?
    • Start with a list of people who will do great, then cast vision and go from there
    • Start with 2-3 year commitment
    • Don't be afraid of people NOT committing to the vision
    • “Look, this job isn't for everybody”
    • Stewardship is the quality of relationships, not just the program

Action Items

  1. Check out the book When Relationships Matter on Amazon or The Orange Store
  2. Put in a plan to talk with every student
  3. Pick one thing to work ON

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