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Relationships are at the center of most any ministry position – but they are especially crucial to a youth worker. Here are a few relationships to key in on as you serve students in your church:

Befriend the pastor
We’ve been to conferences with workshop titles like “Senior Pastors: Friend or Foe?” and “Senior Pastors, If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Become One.” Funny…but sad. When we say “Befriend the pastor”, we don’t mean you need to become best of buddies and take long walks on the beach together. We simply mean look for ways to connect with him/her, and determine not to be two ships that pass in the night…even though you work at the same church! Make an effort this week to thank/enourage/invite out to lunch your senior pastor.

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New Years Resolution…
Help Students Find Jesus!

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Honor those that came before
In a few instances, you may be the very first youth worker at your church. Chances are, you’re not! Hopefully you are one of a strong legacy of leaders who specifically care for teenagers. If they are still in your church – honor them! Ask them for insight into specific situations and let the history guide and help you, not fight against you. There’s nothing worse than unspoken tension between people who are like-minded in mission and calling. You don’t have to be best friends – but build a relationship!

Love thy volunteers
We’re pretty sure this is the 11th commandment: Love thy volunteers as thyself. Treat your volunteers the way you want to be treated by those to whom you report. Encourage them, provide them with timely feedback, train them well, empower them, buy them gifts, show up when they need you most, etc. You could make a pretty strong argument that the most important people in your youth ministry are your volunteers.

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New Years Resolution…
Help Students Find Jesus!

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Communicate with parents
A last important relationship to key in on is parents. More than anything, parents want communication. What are you teaching my teenager? What is going on next Friday night? How much does it cost? How can I be a better parent? Take some time to evaluate the communication with parents in your setting, chances are it could use some beefing up.

What other relationships are key in the church and what words best describe how to navigate them? Share in the comments!

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