The Cardinal Rule of Youth Ministry


If you have spent time in a Youth Ministry degree program, you have probably heard the cardinal rule repeated over and over. Be Flexible. At least that was the cardinal rule in my training (after “steal what you can and can what you steal” in reference to ideas and concepts, and perhaps some teaching points. Not literally stealing property from another ministry).

It is my desire to share with you examples where I have been forced/given the opportunity to be flexible in my own ministry. From those opportunities, I pray that you can benefit and grow on your own, and increase in your flexibility as a youth worker. I do not share these to be egotistical, but to offer a resource for others to see and learn.

Last night at our Wednesday Night Live program, one of the students there was attending for the first time (ever I believe). She brought her nearly 2 year old son with her (she had been invited by another girl who comes) and he was content to play around with the children’s ministry for about an hour. But the Kid’s Club ministry finishes before we do, so what do we do about her son. Clearly a 2 year old will be a distraction as we enter into our heavy discussion period, right?

Normally I would have someone else watch this child in the nursery (and eventually we had to) but initially, I invited him to stay and he was a walking, talking reinforcement of our lesson topic for the evening: becoming like a little child (Matthew 18).

So there is one example of being flexible and allowing the Spirit to move and work. How can you apply this into your life and ministry?

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