As a youth worker I have gifts and abilities - some area i am strong in others i quite frankly suck at. but i was employed as a youth worker because of my ability to work with youth - simple really isn't it.
Anyway it seems that one fo the main frustrations that myself and colleagues face is making the other aspects of the job work in such a way that it creates enough space to do the core task of youth work.
Anyway for what it is worth here is job description for a team to help protect and cover the youth worker in the areas of weakness - use it if you wish but please credit the source - ie ME
The Youth Ministry Oversight Team
Purpose: To share in and share the vision of the youth ministry
· Ability to relate to understand the needs of young people – experience in youth work or parenting of teens.
· Some understanding of how the Church works
· Good relationship with the youth worker - trust
· Ability to provide wisdom – share the bigger picture
· Ability to network in the life of the Church
· Think outside of the square if needed
· Problem solver
· Good listener
· All members to be approved by the pastor/vicar.
What this is not
· You are not the youth worker
· You are not a supervision team – your role is over seeing the youth ministry not the youth worker.
· Prayer support – ongoing needs of youth ministry
· Networking (sharing the needs of the youth ministry and helping the youth worker fill the basic needs, finding transport, recruiting help etc..)
· Share and encourage the vision among the Church ( it is envisaged that the church has some sense of vision, often youth workers struggle to interpret this vision for their area of ministry the oversite team will share that vision and discuss how best to interpret it).
· Allow the youth worker to work to their strengths – get on with the task the have been called for (youth workers spend a lot of time doing peripheral stuff to attempt to keep people in the loop of what is happening in youth ministry – while this is important it often distracts form their real call to ministry - youth.)
· Transition – youth worker have a natural life span – the oversight team will aid in the transition between workers by keeping the established vision alive (assuming it is working), introducing the new worker and helping them become established in the life of the Church and community.
· To meet regularly – time set by youth worker – I would suggest 2 times per term
· Meetings are to be of informal nature
· Agenda is set by the youth worker
· Meeting is for sharing of information:
Progress of the youth ministry
Place of the youth ministry in the life of the Church
Encouragement of the main youth worker
· To attend occasional youth events – you are not there as a leader, or to check up on the youth worker, but to be informed of the needs of the youth ministry some first hand experience will be helpful.
· To proactively watch out for young people in the church
· To promote the youth ministry and its needs through existing networks – vestry, church services, small groups