Myth Busters: Squashing the things we believe with community

When I was in high school the place I use to hang out with my friends was a place called Paul’s Diner on Rte 46 in Mountain Lakes, NJ.  We would hang out until the wee hours of the morning, drinking coffee, eating gravy cheese fries and sharing life.  It’s been several years since I’ve been to that diner, but I know if it had not been for the community that was shared I would not have gotten through a lot of life’s obstacles.  I know there were a lot of powerful moments, deep conversations that shaped the person I am today.

I think fellowship amongst youth workers is something we need to be persistent in seeking out because it’s what will keep us moving and growing.  When we can get together we can squash some of the myths that hold us back as youth workers, such as:

  1. We Need To Be Experts In Our Trade: I know not everyone has this insecurity but there are times where I feel as if I need to know everything about everything.  Parenthood, teenage culture, the best pizza I feel like I need to know it and if I don’t then I’m weak.  Having a cohort allows us to pass around advice and insight; therefore, we don’t need to be the experts.
  2. Parents Are Out To Get Us: It took me a while, actually it wasn’t until I found out that I would be a father did I realize that parents appreciate us more than we may appreciate them.  As youth ministers we need to partner with parents and point them in the right direction, if we can do that then we will see that they are on our side.  If you meet with a group of youth ministers it’s important for those of us who are parents to share that point of view.  No ones really to blame, we are all on the same team we just need to be open to listen to other points of view.
  3. No One Wants To Serve:  This myth is also similar to “Teenagers Are Too Busy To Come To Church”.  It’s hard not to feel that way because no one likes to feel rejected; however, this myth is often perpetuated by people saying no or not following through on an invitation.  The reason community is so important is because we need experienced and clever youth workers to share strategies and answer questions like, “How do you follow up with a teen who hasn’t been in a while?” or “How to you make the burden of serving lighter for adults?”  

Community with other youth workers is great because it’s a chance to share war stories.  On top of community it’s important to network and with today’s technology that isn’t much of a problem.  But we can’t do one without the other, in fact it’s important to meet regularly with the same group of men and women so that you can hold one another accountable, give each other insight, wisdom and remind one another that we are all in this together…to bring young people to Christ.
Community can also happen online; therefore, what is something you once thought was true but now have learned is a myth?