Unfortunately, far too many youth workers, and churches as well, are wearing the scars of bad experiences with each other. I’m excited about WLOYW because it seeks to stand in this gap, hoping to help keep youth workers and churches from conflict, hurt, and exploitation. But WLOYW’s action isn’t just triage, preventing further pain; it also has the wonderful potential to awaken a deeper appreciation for one another that can in turn lead to a richer eccelsiology, an ecceslosogy that seeks God’s action in the mutual ministry with and for young people.
I can’t think of a church or youth leader I know who wouldn’t benefit from taking the “We Love Our Youth Worker” covenant seriously. I love that it’s reciprocal with both a church and its youth leader making commitments to each other. That’s not just good for youth ministry—that’s the way God intends believers to experience community.
Effective evangelism needs healthy youth workers in local churches to help students grow in faith. That’s why I am excited about the We Love Our Youth Worker initiative. Students coming to faith and landing in a church that values the youth worker is what’s going to expand the Kingdom of God!
I know that if more churches were following the promises of We Love Our Youth Worker, we’d be helping a lot fewer hurting and confused youth workers through Simply Soul Care.
In many ways, the We Love Our Youth Worker Covenant is something of a dream come true! “Raising the bar” for youth ministry—both in how the youth worker is cared for by their church and how the youth worker pledges to fulfill their responsibilities in return, has never been more critical than it is today. It is my prayer that the WLOYW covenant will help move the high calling of youth ministry to a level of even greater faithfulness and effectiveness and will help provide a longevity in ministry that will have a profound impact on in the lives of the teenagers for many decades to come.
More than ever before, youth workers are needed to build deep and solid relationships with this rising generation. As they pour themselves out for Christ, they will be more effective as they are poured into by their leadership and the body of believers at large. That is why “We Love Our Youth Worker” is so timely. Since we love our youth so much, the time has come for us to raise up youth workers in this new and vital way.
Every church I’ve served has genuinely wanted to support their youth workers–both the pastors and the volunteers–but most haven’t been quite sure how to go about it. Now the “We Love Our Youth Worker” initiative gives congregations a concrete place to begin–and gives youth workers hope: Yes, somebody cares and wants to help.
One of the dangers of youth work is being a lone ranger, the kiss of death for youth workers. I believe youth work needs to be looked at as a long term commitment, not just a stepping stone to further one’s vocation. This Covenant validates that being a youth worker is a credible, valued, long term vocation. Being someone involved in urban outreach ministry, I appreciate that WLOYW reaches beyond the boundaries of a church’s youth worker and can be effectively used in ministries based in the inner city.
I have often heard congregations speak of the importance of youth in the church and the need to have quality ministry to keep youth engaged. I have also seen how what is communicated verbally does not always translate, often unintentionally, into support, encouragement and training for the individuals given the task of developing and executing this important work. WLOYW is a great vehicle to help congregations and youth leaders truly work together to serve youth in their growth and development as disciples of Christ.
We Love Our Youth Worker is a great tool to help strengthen healthy conversations between youth worker and pastor to talk about fair exchange and what are clear expectations. These type of commitments and focus will only help bring about more effective youth ministries and help strengthen the church community all together to help reach a generation for Christ.