Friday, July 6, 2012

Perspectives from the Field: All Stars

Here in Kansas City, we’re about to host the All-Star game (on Tuesday, July 10) and that’s an opportunity to bring the best of baseball together in one place.  How can we apply the lessons of Major League Baseball’s All-Star game to our work with youth?

The All-Star game honors the top players by recognizing their talents but it’s done through a combination of fan votes and the manager of each of the two teams.  This should remind us that it’s important to have other perspectives.  You might not be aware of some of the unique talents of your youth or members of your congregation.  Having others involved in your program and turning to a variety of people for insight can help you to improve the overall youth ministry.

The All-Star game takes people from each of the teams and puts them together where they work towards a common objective.  Some youth programs pull youth from different schools or neighborhoods.  Or you might go to youth events that have kids from a variety of churches.  One of the great things about “One God, One Day, One Love” is that it has youth from different denominations and congregations come together to worship God, serve the community and grow in their faith together.

The All-Star game is the focus of the week but it’s surrounded by a variety of other activities.  In Kansas City, we are having the All-Star Fan Fest and lots of other activities leading up to the big game.  When we have a Mission Trip, we make sure we also include some time for fun activities that can help build fellowship.  Often, a church will hold a Youth Rally, Revival or Event but instead of having everything on one night they will spread it out over several nights.  This can give youth multiple opportunities to interact and learn about the love of God.  When youTheology holds The Journey (year-long program for high school students) they meet in the Fall and Spring before going on a week-long Pilgrimage that visits different locations.

How can you make your youth feel like All-Star’s & work towards the ultimate goal?

by Mark Whitaker
Chair, youTheology Advisory Board
Youth & Young Adult Director @ Avondale United Methodist Church in KC North
Loving God, Loving Neighbor
Developing Faithful Leaders for a Diverse Church and World Now and in the Future

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