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Key Takeaway: Guard Your Day Off
A lock-in confirmed my calling to youth ministry.I swapped my major for youth ministry You can’t top events for building relationships.Even though they are in your youth ministry they are not your kids, have some patience with parents “Remember we are not confronting parents, we are partnering parents” “More doesn’t always lead to better it leads to burn out” “It’s okay to guard your day, it’s okay to have a day off”

Episode Transcript

Zac: 00:12 Hey everybody, welcome back to another special episode of the Youth Ministry booster podcast. This is our fifth one for women and Youth Ministry, and today we're featuring Becky Gilbert, youth ministry veteran and wonderful wise counsel for anybody that's been in youth ministry for a minute or anybody that's starting out in youth ministry that wants to remember that some of the things that are most important relate to your own health and youth ministry, not just what you're doing for your students. It has been so much fun and we thank you so much for the feedback we received already. If you've been enjoying this emphasis for October of Hashtag women, Yam, share your thoughts, share your feedback. Share one of your favorite women in Youth Ministry. Simply go on twitter or instagram. Write a post, share a pick for Hashtag women in Iam. It's our fun month long emphasis, celebration and encouragement for all those amazing women that serve in youth ministry part time, full time by bi-vocational volunteer.

Zac: 01:10 However you're serving, we are thankful for you, which is why we have the giveaway, so make sure to go to [inaudible] dot com slash giveaway. Giving away a year booster and a subscription box a year because the only thing better than a gift once as a gift all year round, and so there's several to choose from. A lot of folks that have been nominating their friends, a lot of folks have been nominating their spouses and so if you are a woman in youth ministry or know of one, make sure to enter you can win and share that gift with one of your favorites or on an interview today. Again, Chad Higgins, sitting down with Becky Gilbert, talking about youth ministry for the long haul and how becky is indeed most of all team lock in. I know you're gonna. Enjoy this interview. Way Back at the end to fill in any gaps. Thanks for listening.

Becky: 01:56 Oh, and welcome to the youth ministry booster podcast. We are here with Rebecca Hall Gilbert. I'll let you dive in, tell us a little bit about yourself, what you want to be known as, and uh, and then tell us a little bit about how you got into student ministry and what that looks like. Most people call me becky. Rebecca is my formal name, but most people call me Becky. Well, we're just, we're just meeting each other, so I didn't want to like jump in and start giving you a nickname. No problem. Well, I have been doing youth ministry for over 20 years. Um, so it's been a huge part of my life. Um, I, I remember being involved in youth group when I was a youth group age. I've been in church my whole life. That part of my story is probably very familiar to a lot of people.

Becky: 02:57 My parents took us to church Sunday, Wednesday, every time the doors were open and um, we went to youth group, we did lock ins, we did mission trips, all of that kind of stuff that's still going on in youth group. Um, about the time that I was in 11th grade though, I started noticing the difference between what some of the church people that I had grown up with and how they lived. And so it was kind of at that point when I started wondering what really our faith was about and what kind of this church thing was about. And I asked a lot of questions and um, unfortunately I grew up in a church where those questions were not appreciated. Um, you know, questions about, you know, why, why are we prone to worship on Sunday and then do other things on Monday and Tuesday and the rest of the days.

Becky: 03:58 and so it was a struggle for me and I found more acceptance at that time with like my friends that went to parties and stuff like that. And so for a little time, uh, I still went to church. I was in the youth choir. I got up on Sundays and a saying in the youth choir and went to parties on Friday night and Saturday night. And I'm really just kind of lived that whole double church life that unfortunately, what I've come to find out is that a lot of youth a, do you kind of have that dual role that they, that they play. And, um, it wasn't until I started college that I got into a group with some accountability where people sort of said you need to either be all in or not at all because that's what one of the things that makes the church look bad because, so, you know, we're not, we're not all in a for Christ.

Becky: 05:00 And so I was like, okay. And, um, I made some decisions and then put that, put Jesus first. Um, I, I don't consider myself as that I was a non Christian at that time, just really questioning more than anything else. Um, so I had some friends that were volunteer youth ministry people and during college and they invited me to come to a lock in. And so I was like, sure, why not? And I went to that lock in and spent the entire night with a group of about five or six girls who were going through the exact same thing that I went through when I was a junior and a senior and really connected with them talking about how I felt and how I worked through that. And some of the issues that I had, um, and it was at that point that I really saying, wow, maybe there is something to this, maybe there's something to a youth ministry in the church.

Becky: 06:04 And it was kind of at that point when I started a hearing, you know, God's saying, go this way, go this way, this is what you should be doing. And um, from then on, that's what I did. And I got into youth ministry voluntarily during college, changed my major. I was a music major. I wanted to be the next Amy Grant. Probably half the people don't even know who that is now, but that's, that's what I wanted to do. And um, I changed my major to Viv clinical studies. And then after college I pursued a degree in Christian ed, uh, and continued in youth ministry and still have been doing that basically my whole adult life.

Chad: 06:54 You're the poster child for the student ministry lock in. How do you currently now, having been in student ministry for 20 years, how do you feel about these logins now?

Becky: 07:08 , they are much more difficult to recover, but we still do them. I've, I've seen a huge change. I know a lot of people are antilock in, no, never, never. But um, for me, I've always found them to be really an awesome way to bond with students and for the students to bond with each other that, you know, that long period of time of staying up late night talks and things like that, uh, retreats and lock ins and camp. You can't be those for that bonding know, just getting to know students on a deeper level so it has a purpose even. That's right.

Chad: 07:51 Yeah. Well, I love that. I love your story. I love how it almost feels like. I mean the church was always around, right? Like I was obviously doing something for your life even through those, um, you know, seasons where you may feel far away from him. And I love those because I'll be honest, my story is almost identical to yours as well. And, and I think, I think God uses some of us rambunctious kids for his glory. So, so 20 years of student ministry, this is going to be like an impossible question. Give me like one moment.

Becky: 08:37 That is one of your favorites. Oh my gosh. When I first, I had a lot of volunteer experience. Then when I graduated seminary and had my first full time grownup, I'm in charge kind of youth ministry job. Uh, it was at this church in the Midwest and they would go to camp. And so my first big time of, of spending time with students was at this camp and um, at the beginning they were trying to get everybody organized and stuff and, and they were like, uh, okay. Becky's kids and they were talking about the campers that were in my cabin, which we're all children of the youth helped with the camp, but all of the youth, I had only been there maybe like a month. And all of the youth who were there helping stood up to follow me. And the one of the mothers of the youth was like, oh my gosh.

Becky: 09:37 She said, I can't believe they're already, you know, bonding with you and ready to follow you wherever you go. And so that was like really special, you know, to be there my first time and, and just have that encouragement from a parent that, that saw the students taking that leadership and an understanding they were part of something that we were doing together. So that was, that was awesome. The parent, um, you know, it's awesome to have encouragement from the youth, but a lot of times in youth ministry we maybe give parents a little bit harder wrap than they should get and sometimes they are, but sometimes they're the ones that really are there supporting us and giving us that encouragement. And it was just kind of like, um, solidifying that call and like, yes, I was in the right place doing the right thing. Um, and at that point I was just like, wow, that's really cool.

Chad: 10:40 for some of our listeners that are maybe in student ministry that feel like right now their relationship with some of the parents in their church or that their students are in their ministry that may feel rocky for them right now, what encouragement or advice would you give that person?

Becky: 10:59 , I think we've all made mistakes in ministry and one of the things that has been difficult is just partnering with the parents. Um, parents are, you know, they are trying to advocate for their youth. They're trying to navigate for many of them, a new season of life, having youth, teenagers that are trying to break away from them and, and get into this whole, uh, going on trips without their mom and dad and, and stuff like that. That's just really difficult for people to, to let go sometimes. And sometimes we, as youth pastors look at that and we're like, cheese, would they just come on already? And so maybe just having some patients, uh, with, with parents and I, I've been through that, that whole, well, if they were my kids I would blah, blah blah. You know, we've all, we've all thought it. Even if we haven't said it out loud, we've all thought and having the, um, just maybe taking a step back from the situations and saying, but they're not my kids, you know, the, the parent and just trying to talk to the parents and say, how can we do this together?

Becky: 12:18 the parents are not our adversaries. They're not really trying to, you know, topple our youth ministry or anything like that. So just really, I think sometimes we kind of go into it with that mindset that we're going to have to be confrontational with everyone and instead say, no, we're not confronting, we're partnering, we're working together as a team. Um, and if, if that someone would have said that to me like 15 years ago, I think it would have been really encouraging and really helpful at the time. Pretend we have a time machine back in time and have a sit down coffee or chai or whatever you like to drink with first year becky in student ministry. Oh man, I can't, I can't promise that you're going to listen to you. What would you tell yourself? I'm a, I think that the time that I started out in ministry, late nineties, early two thousands, was really one of those times when youth ministry was kind of like at its heyday and we were super concerned with numbers, super concerned with how many activities we were doing, do more, be more, go more places, have more kids, have more stuff, have more and more and more and more.

Becky: 13:54 And um, that did lead me to some times close to burnout, uh, because we were always trying to do more stuff, always trying to, to add lauren and I would sit down and say, listen, it's okay to guard your day off. It's okay to have a day off. Um, it's, it's actually not just okay. It's super important to have that time to be quiet and be still before God to listen for direction of where you're supposed to be going more and doing more and not, not just taking that on yourself. Um, but I think that for a while in youth ministry that was kind of the trend and that even our leadership of churches, I'm sort of encouraged that if we were so busy, oh, must mean things are going well, not necessarily, um, and so, so really taking that time not to neglect the ministry, not to leave out things that are important, but to make sure that you care for your soul and just, you know, really take that time to listen for God. I'm into just step back and rest when it's necessary. Um, and that was something that I neglected for a long time.

Chad: 15:19 Yeah. Well, I think for our listeners, whether you're in your first year in student ministry or Your Twentieth Year of student ministry, that's probably really, really good advice. Um, and, and so, Becky, I want to thank you so much for being on our show today. I know that, um, I've only really got to speak to you here online for like 30 minutes. Uh, but I just want to encourage you that I hear such patience and wisdom in the way that you speak. And, uh, and so I thank you for your 20 years of service in student ministry and I'm thankful for people like yourself that dedicate your life to the gospel and to these crazy students that we love so much.

Becky: 16:06 Right? Right. Well, thank you for having us on and for a, you know, highlighting women, uh, at this time in ministry. It's, it's important for, for us to know that God calls all of us to ministries, whatever they are and that we need to live into those and lean in and listen for what he's calling us to do.

Chad: 16:29 Well, thank you so much and thanks for tuning into youth ministry booster you today. We want you to check out tomorrow as we have another fantastic woman onto tell us about their experience in student ministry.

Zac: 16:47 Are. There you go. That's our interview with Becky Gilbert or Beckylg on twitter.com. If you want to get more info from her about what she's got going in her youth ministry, or send a word of thanks or encouragement or the insight and encouragement she shared with us today. Becky, we are thankful for the powerful words that you shared today and for everybody else listening, if you liked what you heard today and one to not miss any more episodes coming out almost every day in October, make sure to hit the subscribe button, rate and review if you would, but don't miss another amazing day for Hashtag women and youth ministry all October long as we celebrate and encourage and appreciate the women that are making youth ministry. Awesome.

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Key Takeaway: God calls youth to youth ministry
“If you are going to have attention on you it needs to be for the right reason” “He didn’t tell me he called the police after he made the call” “Do not sweat the small stuff, like literally sweating through my t-shirt small stuff” “Your call is the share the gospel with the students in front of you”

Follow Karli Loving on Twitter #WomenInYM Giveaway on Twitter Join The Twitter Conversation For #WomenInYM on Twitter
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Key Takeaway: Refugees And Jesus On The Other Side Of The Road
“For those 8 kids, they directly chose a career path related to their local missions experience” "Mission Trips Should Be Tied Back To Ministry Our Congregations are already involved “My first year was a disaster in almost every way” "Slow down to learn the story of your congregation"
Grab a copy of Jen's books! @ the Youth Cartel Follow Jen Bradury on Twitter #WomenInYM Giveaway on Twitter Join The Twitter Conversation For #WomenInYM on TwitterEpisode Transcript

Zac: 00:13 Hey everybody, happy October, a happy pastor appreciation month. That's right. In case you didn't know that 31 days of October or not just the countdown to fall break Halloween or the holiday season. It's also the month you should be appreciating pastors worldwide. So if you are a pastor, I appreciate you as you have a pastor. You should go to appreciate them, but this month and youth ministry booster, we wanted to celebrate a particular group of pastors and that is all the women and youth ministry. So if you are a full time, part time volunteer, small group and love and students, woman in Youth Ministry this month is for you and almost every stinking day. This month we have got an exciting interview with a woman in Youth Ministry who's doing an incredible job and has an amazing story to tell, but more than just hearing from them. We want to celebrate.

Zac: 01:02 And so if you are or know of a woman in youth ministry, go to www.youthministrybooster.com/giveaway and we're going to give away an annual subscription box of their choosing and a year of booster. For a woman and youth ministry, he's doing an amazing job, so youth ministry, men you can enter by nominating someone. You're going to give the gift Tube and women and youth ministry. Please sign up. We want you to have a gift we want to give to you a year long celebration to thank you for what you do and to love you for loving young people you can play along at home by tying all your post. Hashtag women in Yam. We'd love to hear from you. All right, that's it for me. Enjoy this interview and I'll catch you back at the end of the episode with more details.

Chad: 01:47 We are here celebrating, in the month of October, the incredible women in Youth Ministry. And we are with Mikiala. Did I pronounce that correctly or at least at absolutely correctly thinking you're going to have to get through the rest of this conversation today. So I'll give you a tutorial. Four syllables. I mean, I feel like because of that there's probably going to be like a sonic route 44 like that myself as reward later this afternoon during happy hour. At that point you will deserve it. Well, I deserve one most every afternoon. I just one thing in life that helps make things. Let me go ahead and get. It can be a dangerous slippery slope so you do have to be careful. Sonic will get you either rewarding myself or I'm below and you're just like either I need to celebrate or cry. Either way. This is going to help with either one. It's going to be this episode euthanize you booster, brought to you by sonic. Anyways. So tell us a little bit about yourself. Tell us about your name. First and foremost. Make sure we know how to say it and where that comes from and all of those great things.

Mikiala: 03:15 Absolutely. Well, my name Mikiala is Hebrew and, my parents, they used to watch that old show star search and there was a spokesperson on there that had a name and they were like, that's it. That's the name for our daughter. So they signed me up for a lifetime of having to raise my hand when the substitute teacher would pause and look very confused at the paper and I would say yes, that's me. Hi, I'm Mikiala,

Chad: 03:40 where are you from? What is your student ministry look like? And all those kind of things.

Mikiala: 03:47 So I do see the mystery based out of Stuart, Florida. It's about 30 minutes north of West Palm Beach. So I'm a Florida flip flops and sandals kind of girl and I've been here for four years where I currently serve. So our youth ministry is a midsize church and we meet once a week and we do an entire night of student programming. And our goal is to just make sure that students have a place where they can come and do worship that they take some ownership in because a lot of times we still call it big church. Big Church doesn't always resonate with,, with the teenagers. And so we want them to have youth group where they feel like they can worship and serve and come and just hang out and learn a little bit more about who Jesus is. And so that's, that's our main goal here.

Chad: 04:38 Wow. That's really cool. Tell us, tell us your origin story. Tell us about your calling the student ministry before then. What did, what did that look like in your life? How have you gotten to where you're at today?

Mikiala: 04:53 I always grew up in the church. My Dad was a demon and my mom was always a choir director. And so, um, you know, I feel like I was sitting on the piano bench next to my mom since I could hold my head up properly. And so, uh, being in ministry was just kind of second nature to me. And so I was a teenager. I started out probably when I was about to say the middle school and that was just all that

Mikiala: 05:22 I just always did and I didn't necessarily think at that time that it was going to lead to a future in student ministry, but it was just something that I felt like God used me in those moments. And so ever since I was a kid I thought, okay, you know what, I want to do communications, I want to do journalism. And so by the time I graduated high school, I went to college and I got that degree in communications and journalism because I thought I wanted either be a news anchor or I want to be a radio host or something like that because I enjoy talking to people and loving people and that's going to be the perfect way to do it. So, uh, I went to school and then by the time I graduated I was at summer camp with our student ministry at the time and when we were doing a worship service.

Mikiala: 06:06 And I specifically remember being in the back of the room. Um, as you know, I feel like a lot of youth leaders, you kind of go to the back of the room, left the loud music and all that good stuff and then you're kind of towards the back end and I can still to this day, remember certain students that just really stuck out to me because of various stories that they had, various struggles that they had and we just spent this entire week. I'm ministering to these kids and I really felt God pressing on my heart and saying, you need to make sure that you have the tools it's going to take to minister to these kids properly and do that well. Um, and so that fall I enrolled in school again and I went specifically to get a degree in youth ministry because I said, okay, well if this is what God wants me to do, then I'm going to go ahead and do it.

Mikiala: 06:51 And so I still remember the faces of those kids and some of the struggles that they had. And that was kind of what propelled me through school. you know, those late nights and all that kind of stuff, but is really knowing that God wanted me to be able to do this well and that was something that I needed to power through. So once I did that, it took about two years for me to actually be placed where I am now. And the story of that, you know, God just really worked that out, you know, between my resume and people knowing where to look for my resume, got totally lined that up and so I know that I'm where I'm supposed to be. Um, and I have complete confirmation in that which is just a really cool thing to see God work in that way. So

Chad: 07:36 there are those moments that we think are like, totally, we find ourself in the back of the room and I'm amazed by all those all the times in my own life, even as like a speaker and communicator that I would like finish a sermon that I had prepared for hours. That was for me. Like I don't know if anyone else in the room got anything out of it. But that was for me to learn in those moments. Um, so tell me your time in student ministry from your beginning of volunteer all the way into where you're at now. Tell me one of your favorite student ministry moments.

Mikiala: 08:30 Favorite student ministry moments? Well, I feel like this is kind of a recurring moment and I am not the type of student minister that gets like wild and crazy and does like crazy, you know, jumps off of stuff. Like that's just not me. I always try to, you know, help people understand that you can be an introvert and be in ministry and still be effective because I am one of those people. Um, I kind of keep to myself a little bit. So the moments that are my favorite oftentimes are the quieter moments. And so, um, the recurring one that I always think about is in those moments when it's just like you talked about, you're preparing for a message and you think that this message is either going to be great because you've put a lot of work into it or you're going, okay, I don't know if I've prepared this as well as I should have, but here I am in front of these people and Lord, please just help it be effective.

Mikiala: 09:23 Let it be an opportunity for people to learn more about you. And then you just go, well, there's a couple of, uh, of moments in speaking to students where God just kind of gives me this clarity or this realization where he lets me in on the fact that right here in this moment, this is when I'm working and this is why you prepared and this is, this is the purpose of this message. And so in the middle of a speaking to those kids, I'm going, okay, that's a really humbling moment because at that time I have to send up a prayer and just say, okay, God, whatever it is that you're working on, please let it be something that impacts students, let it help them grow in their relationship, let it minister to the hearts of kid were broken. Um, and it's just, you know, a fleeting moment where he's like, this is it right here, right now. And I can tell that everybody's zeroed in and I've zeroed in because he's got my attention in those moments. And he's saying, I'm working and I'm going, oh, okay, awesome. Please don't let me mess it up. It was just completely humbling to be a part of that. And so those are my favorite moments because I get to connect with him, but also get to see him connecting with other people and, and, uh, see the realness of who God is. And that's just one of my favorite things.

Chad: 10:36 Yeah, you use the word humbling. Like when you, when you experienced those times, what other emotions come out in you? And like, where, where does it drive your heart in your mind?

Mikiala: 10:56 I would say it drives my heart too to whatever the point is also because I think that he uses those moments where I might need to pay attention to something in myself too, whether it's security that I've been struggling with or um, or, or, you know, I need to be, um, to be more open minded about something else or to zero in on somebody in the congregation or in the audience who's really hurting. And so for me, the emotion that it draws out is, um, is just going, okay, well how do I need to serve or what do I need to change? Um, and so really it becomes,, me trying to figure out how to do exactly what God's having other people to do. Um, because that's, I mean, that's how relational ministry works, where you're relating to God and you're relating to other people. And so, um, you know, it's not just about other people hearing the message, it's about you hearing it and it's about making it real. Making sure that you're not just giving up. They're saying something. And then you don't actually live it out in your life.

Chad: 12:05 The power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, absolutely. You get to go back in time to your volunteer experience in student ministry and you get to give yourself some sage wisdom. What would you tell yourself at that point?

Mikiala: 12:30 I consider myself what I like to call a recovering perfectionist, and that has been the case since I was a teenager and just always feeling like I'm everything needed to be in its proper order and everything needed to be the right way. And so I have always struggled with, trying to make it appear as if I have all my ducks in a row and get everything together and that started at a young age and it's something that I still struggle with. So if I could go back in time, I would say it's okay to say, well, now you're not perfect. Um, and at,

Mikiala: 13:13 and other people knowing that you're not perfect does not disqualify you for ministry. That was, um, that was something that I started to believe is that any opportunity that I had to fail in front of somebody or show that I didn't know something was going to be the opportunity to say for somebody else to say, we'll see. That's why you shouldn't be doing that. That's exactly why you shouldn't leave that Bible study or that's exactly why you shouldn't speak in front of those people. That's why you shouldn't be in ministry. And I just felt like I was giving them that in to point the finger and say, no, you're not supposed to be doing that. But instead I can. I know now that I can see that as that's the opportunity to grow so that you can absolutely do ministry because we do men's ministry out of our imperfections because that's where Jesus shows how perfect he is. And so, um, so I would absolutely tell myself, dude, fail in front of people. Be Vulnerable. Let them know that you don't know something and you not knowing something. It doesn't negate your skillset. You still have skills. You just might need to learn this other thing that will now multiply those skills.

Chad: 14:23 That's a huge lesson that I'm still learning. I feel like I really resonate with you. Call yourself a recovering perfectionist midst of it. And I really appreciate that. I think there's the joy, the joy of vulnerability. Think in those moments, and I'm often reminded of Paul's letter when he talks about, um, how I came to you and I acted like I knew nothing by Christ and him crucified, right? I mean, here's a guy, right? You can boast about anything, but he realizes that like in his own humility, Christ is going to be exalted more. Right? And I, I just hope that for, I hope that for my own life, but I now, and I hope that for so many other ministers who I think have the greatest intentions, but we can often so much good in our own way in the midst of that. And we've become not only a stumbling block for ourself but for the people that follow us.

Chad: 15:42 And so I, I really appreciate you for reminding me of that. And that's yet again, another reason that I'm probably going to have to have a sonic drinks this afternoon that yes, sonic drink because you're like, you know what, God is so good and he's perfect. So I'm just going to read. Isn't that true? Isn't that good? Well, Hey, thank you so much for sharing your honesty with us this afternoon. A man I, I know that we haven't known each other long and just sitting here talking to you on this call, but um, and I just hear such authenticity and you and I just want to encourage that in you as a minister and I just hope that that continues to just come alive and you minister in that and through that. And so if you are listening with us today, we want to invite you back tomorrow as we have the opportunity to hear from another fantastic woman in student ministry across this great country. So yeah, absolutely. We're excited. It's going to be awesome. Let's head to sonic will see you guys tomorrow.

Speaker 4: 16:52 Thanks so much.

Zac: 16:55 Alright, there you go. That's your interview with Mikiaila., Chad, I'm not buying your sonic. Maybe somebody else will hope you enjoyed it. Make sure to check the links below, how you can get in contact with her and learn more about her story and how you could sign up for the youth ministry booster.com/giveaway where you can win an annual membership to booster and a subscription box of your choice, but the woman in youth ministry you appreciate the most, which could be you and so thank you so much for listening. We'll be back tomorrow with another episode. You guys are great. We'll see you then.

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Key Takeaway: God’s work is humbling
“You can be an introvert and effective in ministry” “Favorite moments can be the quiet moments” “Let people know when you don’t know something”
Follow Mikaiala on Instagram #WomenInYM Giveaway on Twitter Join The Twitter Conversation For #WomenInYM on TwitterEpisode Transcript

Zac: 00:13 Hey everybody, happy October, a happy pastor appreciation month. That's right. In case you didn't know that 31 days of October or not just the countdown to fall break Halloween or the holiday season. It's also the month you should be appreciating pastors worldwide. So if you are a pastor, I appreciate you as you have a pastor. You should go to appreciate them, but this month and youth ministry booster, we wanted to celebrate a particular group of pastors and that is all the women and youth ministry. So if you are a full time, part time volunteer, small group and love and students, woman in Youth Ministry this month is for you and almost every stinking day. This month we have got an exciting interview with a woman in Youth Ministry who's doing an incredible job and has an amazing story to tell, but more than just hearing from them. We want to celebrate.

Zac: 01:02 And so if you are or know of a woman in youth ministry, go to www.youthministrybooster.com/giveaway and we're going to give away an annual subscription box of their choosing and a year of booster. For a woman and youth ministry, he's doing an amazing job, so youth ministry, men you can enter by nominating someone. You're going to give the gift Tube and women and youth ministry. Please sign up. We want you to have a gift we want to give to you a year long celebration to thank you for what you do and to love you for loving young people you can play along at home by tying all your post. Hashtag women in Yam. We'd love to hear from you. All right, that's it for me. Enjoy this interview and I'll catch you back at the end of the episode with more details.

Chad: 01:47 We are here celebrating, in the month of October, the incredible women in Youth Ministry. And we are with Mikiala. Did I pronounce that correctly or at least at absolutely correctly thinking you're going to have to get through the rest of this conversation today. So I'll give you a tutorial. Four syllables. I mean, I feel like because of that there's probably going to be like a sonic route 44 like that myself as reward later this afternoon during happy hour. At that point you will deserve it. Well, I deserve one most every afternoon. I just one thing in life that helps make things. Let me go ahead and get. It can be a dangerous slippery slope so you do have to be careful. Sonic will get you either rewarding myself or I'm below and you're just like either I need to celebrate or cry. Either way. This is going to help with either one. It's going to be this episode euthanize you booster, brought to you by sonic. Anyways. So tell us a little bit about yourself. Tell us about your name. First and foremost. Make sure we know how to say it and where that comes from and all of those great things.

Mikiala: 03:15 Absolutely. Well, my name Mikiala is Hebrew and, my parents, they used to watch that old show star search and there was a spokesperson on there that had a name and they were like, that's it. That's the name for our daughter. So they signed me up for a lifetime of having to raise my hand when the substitute teacher would pause and look very confused at the paper and I would say yes, that's me. Hi, I'm Mikiala,

Chad: 03:40 where are you from? What is your student ministry look like? And all those kind of things.

Mikiala: 03:47 So I do see the mystery based out of Stuart, Florida. It's about 30 minutes north of West Palm Beach. So I'm a Florida flip flops and sandals kind of girl and I've been here for four years where I currently serve. So our youth ministry is a midsize church and we meet once a week and we do an entire night of student programming. And our goal is to just make sure that students have a place where they can come and do worship that they take some ownership in because a lot of times we still call it big church. Big Church doesn't always resonate with,, with the teenagers. And so we want them to have youth group where they feel like they can worship and serve and come and just hang out and learn a little bit more about who Jesus is. And so that's, that's our main goal here.

Chad: 04:38 Wow. That's really cool. Tell us, tell us your origin story. Tell us about your calling the student ministry before then. What did, what did that look like in your life? How have you gotten to where you're at today?

Mikiala: 04:53 I always grew up in the church. My Dad was a demon and my mom was always a choir director. And so, um, you know, I feel like I was sitting on the piano bench next to my mom since I could hold my head up properly. And so, uh, being in ministry was just kind of second nature to me. And so I was a teenager. I started out probably when I was about to say the middle school and that was just all that

Mikiala: 05:22 I just always did and I didn't necessarily think at that time that it was going to lead to a future in student ministry, but it was just something that I felt like God used me in those moments. And so ever since I was a kid I thought, okay, you know what, I want to do communications, I want to do journalism. And so by the time I graduated high school, I went to college and I got that degree in communications and journalism because I thought I wanted either be a news anchor or I want to be a radio host or something like that because I enjoy talking to people and loving people and that's going to be the perfect way to do it. So, uh, I went to school and then by the time I graduated I was at summer camp with our student ministry at the time and when we were doing a worship service.

Mikiala: 06:06 And I specifically remember being in the back of the room. Um, as you know, I feel like a lot of youth leaders, you kind of go to the back of the room, left the loud music and all that good stuff and then you're kind of towards the back end and I can still to this day, remember certain students that just really stuck out to me because of various stories that they had, various struggles that they had and we just spent this entire week. I'm ministering to these kids and I really felt God pressing on my heart and saying, you need to make sure that you have the tools it's going to take to minister to these kids properly and do that well. Um, and so that fall I enrolled in school again and I went specifically to get a degree in youth ministry because I said, okay, well if this is what God wants me to do, then I'm going to go ahead and do it.

Mikiala: 06:51 And so I still remember the faces of those kids and some of the struggles that they had. And that was kind of what propelled me through school. you know, those late nights and all that kind of stuff, but is really knowing that God wanted me to be able to do this well and that was something that I needed to power through. So once I did that, it took about two years for me to actually be placed where I am now. And the story of that, you know, God just really worked that out, you know, between my resume and people knowing where to look for my resume, got totally lined that up and so I know that I'm where I'm supposed to be. Um, and I have complete confirmation in that which is just a really cool thing to see God work in that way. So

Chad: 07:36 there are those moments that we think are like, totally, we find ourself in the back of the room and I'm amazed by all those all the times in my own life, even as like a speaker and communicator that I would like finish a sermon that I had prepared for hours. That was for me. Like I don't know if anyone else in the room got anything out of it. But that was for me to learn in those moments. Um, so tell me your time in student ministry from your beginning of volunteer all the way into where you're at now. Tell me one of your favorite student ministry moments.

Mikiala: 08:30 Favorite student ministry moments? Well, I feel like this is kind of a recurring moment and I am not the type of student minister that gets like wild and crazy and does like crazy, you know, jumps off of stuff. Like that's just not me. I always try to, you know, help people understand that you can be an introvert and be in ministry and still be effective because I am one of those people. Um, I kind of keep to myself a little bit. So the moments that are my favorite oftentimes are the quieter moments. And so, um, the recurring one that I always think about is in those moments when it's just like you talked about, you're preparing for a message and you think that this message is either going to be great because you've put a lot of work into it or you're going, okay, I don't know if I've prepared this as well as I should have, but here I am in front of these people and Lord, please just help it be effective.

Mikiala: 09:23 Let it be an opportunity for people to learn more about you. And then you just go, well, there's a couple of, uh, of moments in speaking to students where God just kind of gives me this clarity or this realization where he lets me in on the fact that right here in this moment, this is when I'm working and this is why you prepared and this is, this is the purpose of this message. And so in the middle of a speaking to those kids, I'm going, okay, that's a really humbling moment because at that time I have to send up a prayer and just say, okay, God, whatever it is that you're working on, please let it be something that impacts students, let it help them grow in their relationship, let it minister to the hearts of kid were broken. Um, and it's just, you know, a fleeting moment where he's like, this is it right here, right now. And I can tell that everybody's zeroed in and I've zeroed in because he's got my attention in those moments. And he's saying, I'm working and I'm going, oh, okay, awesome. Please don't let me mess it up. It was just completely humbling to be a part of that. And so those are my favorite moments because I get to connect with him, but also get to see him connecting with other people and, and, uh, see the realness of who God is. And that's just one of my favorite things.

Chad: 10:36 Yeah, you use the word humbling. Like when you, when you experienced those times, what other emotions come out in you? And like, where, where does it drive your heart in your mind?

Mikiala: 10:56 I would say it drives my heart too to whatever the point is also because I think that he uses those moments where I might need to pay attention to something in myself too, whether it's security that I've been struggling with or um, or, or, you know, I need to be, um, to be more open minded about something else or to zero in on somebody in the congregation or in the audience who's really hurting. And so for me, the emotion that it draws out is, um, is just going, okay, well how do I need to serve or what do I need to change? Um, and so really it becomes,, me trying to figure out how to do exactly what God's having other people to do. Um, because that's, I mean, that's how relational ministry works, where you're relating to God and you're relating to other people. And so, um, you know, it's not just about other people hearing the message, it's about you hearing it and it's about making it real. Making sure that you're not just giving up. They're saying something. And then you don't actually live it out in your life.

Chad: 12:05 The power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, absolutely. You get to go back in time to your volunteer experience in student ministry and you get to give yourself some sage wisdom. What would you tell yourself at that point?

Mikiala: 12:30 I consider myself what I like to call a recovering perfectionist, and that has been the case since I was a teenager and just always feeling like I'm everything needed to be in its proper order and everything needed to be the right way. And so I have always struggled with, trying to make it appear as if I have all my ducks in a row and get everything together and that started at a young age and it's something that I still struggle with. So if I could go back in time, I would say it's okay to say, well, now you're not perfect. Um, and at,

Mikiala: 13:13 and other people knowing that you're not perfect does not disqualify you for ministry. That was, um, that was something that I started to believe is that any opportunity that I had to fail in front of somebody or show that I didn't know something was going to be the opportunity to say for somebody else to say, we'll see. That's why you shouldn't be doing that. That's exactly why you shouldn't leave that Bible study or that's exactly why you shouldn't speak in front of those people. That's why you shouldn't be in ministry. And I just felt like I was giving them that in to point the finger and say, no, you're not supposed to be doing that. But instead I can. I know now that I can see that as that's the opportunity to grow so that you can absolutely do ministry because we do men's ministry out of our imperfections because that's where Jesus shows how perfect he is. And so, um, so I would absolutely tell myself, dude, fail in front of people. Be Vulnerable. Let them know that you don't know something and you not knowing something. It doesn't negate your skillset. You still have skills. You just might need to learn this other thing that will now multiply those skills.

Chad: 14:23 That's a huge lesson that I'm still learning. I feel like I really resonate with you. Call yourself a recovering perfectionist midst of it. And I really appreciate that. I think there's the joy, the joy of vulnerability. Think in those moments, and I'm often reminded of Paul's letter when he talks about, um, how I came to you and I acted like I knew nothing by Christ and him crucified, right? I mean, here's a guy, right? You can boast about anything, but he realizes that like in his own humility, Christ is going to be exalted more. Right? And I, I just hope that for, I hope that for my own life, but I now, and I hope that for so many other ministers who I think have the greatest intentions, but we can often so much good in our own way in the midst of that. And we've become not only a stumbling block for ourself but for the people that follow us.

Chad: 15:42 And so I, I really appreciate you for reminding me of that. And that's yet again, another reason that I'm probably going to have to have a sonic drinks this afternoon that yes, sonic drink because you're like, you know what, God is so good and he's perfect. So I'm just going to read. Isn't that true? Isn't that good? Well, Hey, thank you so much for sharing your honesty with us this afternoon. A man I, I know that we haven't known each other long and just sitting here talking to you on this call, but um, and I just hear such authenticity and you and I just want to encourage that in you as a minister and I just hope that that continues to just come alive and you minister in that and through that. And so if you are listening with us today, we want to invite you back tomorrow as we have the opportunity to hear from another fantastic woman in student ministry across this great country. So yeah, absolutely. We're excited. It's going to be awesome. Let's head to sonic will see you guys tomorrow.

Zac: 16:55 Alright, there you go. That's your interview with Mikiaila., Chad, I'm not buying your sonic. Maybe somebody else will hope you enjoyed it. Make sure to check the links below, how you can get in contact with her and learn more about her story and how you could sign up for the youth ministry booster.com/giveaway where you can win an annual membership to booster and a subscription box of your choice, but the woman in youth ministry you appreciate the most, which could be you and so thank you so much for listening. We'll be back tomorrow with another episode. You guys are great. We'll see you then.

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Key Takeaway: Find Yourself Network
“One of the biggest things you can do is get connected to a network” “You need a support system”
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Episode Transcript

00:13 Hey everybody, happy October, a happy pastor appreciation month. That's right. In case you didn't know that 31 days of October or not just the countdown to fall break Halloween or the holiday season. It's also the month you should be appreciating pastors worldwide. So if you are a pastor, I appreciate you. If you have a pastor you should go. I appreciate them, but this month that youth ministry booster, we wanted to celebrate a particular group of pastors and that is all the women and youth ministry. So if you are a full time, part time volunteer, small group leading love and students, woman in Youth Ministry, this month is for you and almost every stinking day. This month we have got an exciting interview with a woman and youth ministry who's doing an incredible job and has an amazing story to tell, but more than just hearing from them. We want to celebrate and so if you are or know of a woman in youth ministry, go to www.youthministrybooster.com/giveaway and we're going to give away an annual subscription box of their choosing and a year of booster. For a woman in youth ministry, he's doing an amazing job, so youth ministry, men you can enter by nominating someone. You're going to give the gift Tube and women and youth ministry. Please sign up. We want you to have a gift we want to give to you a year long celebration to thank you for what you do and to love you for loving young people. All right, that's it for me. Enjoy this interview and I'll catch you back at the end of the episode with more details.

01:43 Hello and welcome to the youth ministry booster podcast. My name is Chad Higgins and I will be our host today. I will let my guests enter dues herself. Tell you a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? Where you doing student ministry? What do we need to know about today?

02:03 Yeah. Hi, my name is Ana. I do ministry at Trinity Community Church in Norwood, Massachusetts and nobody really knows where it is because it's kind of an obscure little town, about 30, 35 minutes outside of Boston. So we're in New England. We're kind of in the thick of it. Um, yeah. Serving in a pretty average size above average. Jed tells me church, and it's been great. Yeah, I've been there for now a little over five years.

02:34 Right. So right outside of Boston, right? Yep. So here's the thing, I'm going to be honest, I don't hear that thick Boston accent that like, I think the rest of the country thinks. So when you say that you're from around Boston, what's up with that? Have you lived there all your life? Have you just worked that accident out? Have we not said enough words like car things like

03:00 for us to hear it? Yeah. Um, so I guess I'm a little bit unique in that I was born in Brazil. I came to the United States when I was four years old, but I have been living. I grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts, which again, 30, 35 minutes outside of Boston, but on the other side. So in the north shore side. Um, so I grew up in Lynn and I don't know, the Boston accent unfortunately. Never really stuck. I just got stuck with this pretty average American English. So what you're telling me is you only learn to drop the r before the age of three is. That's it? Yeah.

03:44 It's bizarre. I mean, my daughter, I don't know if this is intentional or not, but she, she's about to be two and she doesn't pronounce her rs very well. Maybe it's a toddler thing, but hey, maybe she's got New England in there somewhere. That's awesome. Alright. So tell me, tell me your story, getting involved in student ministry, where does that come about? When did that all happen? Yeah. Um, let's see. I was in high school and I grew up Catholic. My entire life is about my freshman year and God totally rocked my family's world. Um, it's, we're going to dive into a little bit of my testimony here, but yeah, so I'm a freshman in high school trying to navigate all of that as a firstborn, the immigrant kid, like trying to figure out the whole, you know, life as a, as a teenager, um, and my dad gets mysteriously sick, like we don't know what's going on with him.

04:52 He's just got all these issues happening where like, he couldn't hold his head up straight and talk like it was very slurred, really weird. So we'd go to doctor after doctor and tell us, Oh, you know what, he's just like high levels of stress. He needs to just chill. And my mom and I are looking at each other like, that's weird, that doesn't sound right, continues getting worse, and we come to find out my dad being the entrepreneur that he was, he had started a cleaning business and a construction company, um, and all of that just started to fall apart with his health issues and then come to find out that we were months and months behind on bills. So this is just one thing adding up after the other. My Mom's super stressed out and I'm the first born kid who speaks English. So I have to like fill out all the paperwork and pay the bills and helps.

05:39 I'm seeing all this behind the scene stuff and my family life's falling apart in my parents' marriage is falling apart. It's just ugly. Um, so one of my mom's friends went to a Brazilian pentecostal church at the time and says, Hey, you know what, why you give this church thing a chance, why don't you give God a chance to break in? Because she's like, I know you guys are Catholic and this is weird for you to like branch out, but try it. There's a pastor coming who's going to pray for healing? So My, my dad is like, you know, whatever, like I'm at the end of my game here. So we go to this church, there's people speaking in tongues. I'm a teenager who grew up in the Catholic church. I'm just totally freaked out, like looking around like one in the world. Give me out of here.

06:29 I'm so totally out of my context and the pastor has this moment where he looked straight into my dad's eyes and he's like, look man, God is telling me, telling me to pray for you. Um, so can I do that? My Dad's like, yeah, sure. He like, goes up to the, to the stage or the altar and pastor starts. I'm kind of rattling off everything that my family had been going through in the past couple of months and it wasn't like, you know, my mom's friend had had told him or something. It was just divine revelation because this guy had just flown in from Brazil. Um, so he's rattling everything off. He's like, God wants to deliver you, are you open to that? And my dad's like, okay, you just right for me. So they start praying for him in literally all hell breaks loose, ease, blood red, like screaming demonic, like I've never heard this come out of my father of course.

07:25 Um, so he's just like, he falls over on the floor, he's screaming. It's like literal exorcism. And I thought this kind of stuff didn't happen in real life. You at this point? I'm about like 14 or 15. Yeah. So my, my, my mind is blown. My little sister's 10. It's just the two of us and she's watching this. She starts crying and I have to step out of the room with her. But there it was like this three day, I'm Kinda like healing services that the pastor was doing that my parents, after the first night, you know, my dad was, um, that whole, that whole thing happened and he was relieved of that. Um, and they went back to this other two nights. Um, but I can, I can tell you that as crazy as the story sounds, every time that I tell it, I'm like, I wonder if people are going to believe me as crazy as it sounds.

08:20 It is true. And I can attest that this was God's healing hand at work. It wasn't some kind of weird hocus pocus stuff because my father went from being this angry shut off like father figure in my life. Of course I loved him and everything that would work so hard to get straight a's and I'd come home and show him my report cards and you just give me like a handshake. He wasn't this like affectionate dad, you know. Um, but after that weekend where God delivered him from whatever was happening in his life, um, just, it was a complete one 80. He went from being this like closed off father figure to this dad that like, would it like, I remember two weeks after that he just gave me the first unsolicited hug in a long time. So I like to say that my heavenly father intervened in my earthly father's life to kind of show me a glimpse of his love.

09:21 Um, and that's just like the tip of the iceberg with that whole story, like my parents are about to lose their house and that church where this deliverance happened, um, they banded together to give us enough money to save it. And my parents are still living in it to this day. Yeah. So it's just, um, it's a family testimony. Most people have individual testimonies or they come to Christ. My entire family was just shook up. God just really use that entire scenario to bring us all to faith in him. Um, so yeah, being 14 and 15 at the time, I didn't have your traditional. I grew up in the church and loved my student pastor type of thing. Um, I did get involved with the student ministry in the area and they were really cool and let's see, I think it was senior year, junior and senior year and I'm looking like what am I going to do with the rest of my life?

10:15 I thought about going into art therapy but wasn't super confident in that. Then I just started googling like Christian colleges because I knew I love God, but I didn't know what to do with that. Um, and I came across Gordon College's website, um, which is not so far from where my parents live and I was looking through their majors list and youth ministry was on there. I'm like, well, you can, you can do that. You can get a major in youth ministry. And that just blew my mind and be like, yes, yes. You strengthen your arms for dodge ball. So math, right? Yes, yes. Um, so I was just shocked and you know, just being on fire for God, it was like, you know, what God, I'm, I'm going to apply to just this one school and if I get in because I didn't really have like the highest GPA and if I get in then that's what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. So not very smart. I tell my kids this story now and I'm like, don't, don't do what I did. Don't just apply to one school. It was crazy leap of faith and God let it happen. But uh, be a little wiser than I was. Um, so yeah, I went to Gordon College for Christian ministries and I've been doing this whole crazy thing since. That's awesome. What a powerful story.

11:41 Your years of student ministry so far, powerful moments, funny moments like what's one of your favorite youth ministry moments so far? My favorite thing by far is seeing kids that go through our youth ministry, stick around because if they stick around after college and they come back to church, you know, Christmas break, thanksgiving break, um, and then spend their summers and fellowship with the kids that they graduated with. For me that is, that is like all time youth ministry when, um, because like we all know the statistics, so I just get, I'm just super proud of those kids that, you know, love our church and they still coming back. They'll come back. Um, but favorite, you've missed your moment. The freshest one is. How many years has it been now? It's been two or three years. Say three years. Three years ago, one of my, one of my students that I was really close with, and I know for all youth ministry leaders that are listening, you all have that one, that one kid that you love, 'em.

12:50 We don't want to say favorites because that's kind of a mess. That word. Yes, there will just be honest. Uh, I always feel bad that they're favorites, but one of my favorite kids, she, um, you know, we shared a room on our mission trip. We hung out so many times together, you know, I loved this kid. She came to me one day and she's like, you know, what, what do you, how do you feel about homosexuality? And I just answered it in like the worst possible way. I like, I forget what was going on that day, but I just kind of like blew up. I was like, oh no, that's wrong. And I didn't know that. She was like asking for a friend, you know, asking for herself like that she was struggling with these same sex attractions. Um, and I was just super, just wasn't thinking.

13:45 I was like, no, that's wrong. The Bible says that's wrong, et Cetera, et Cetera, Yada Yada. And she just took that really hard. Um, and to start to distance herself a little bit. Um, and then, uh, finally came out that she liked another girl and started a relationship with that girl. Um, so it just wasn't handled in, I'd say the best way. I think myself, I could've done a better job and since then I've learned from the mistakes and have looked into how to handle that in a more loving and approachable way. Um, and then the church is what we didn't do a great job of kind of walking with her through it. She kind of was hurt and stepped back and kind of isolated herself away and disconnected from the youth group. Um, so this year she graduated from high school and her sister, one of our youth group graduates.

14:39 It has been, um, working with why wham in Hawaii for about five years now. Um, so she invited her sister to come to this teen camp that they do for two weeks and her, her sister, um, my favorite kid was like, yeah, I'll, I'll go. It's a free trip to Hawaii. And she told me she went to this trip with her, no walls built up and she wasn't open to God at all because of what had happened with the church, which is like, hey, you know what, I'm a senior and graduated and it's a great vacation before I go off to college. So she goes on the trip, goes to the camp and God totally knocks your socks off and she comes back to Christ and she comes back into it like this crazy love relationship with God that, and it was all restored. Um, she like gets baptized again on her two week trip.

15:40 It was just amazing to hear her come back and inherent come back and say, you know what, I'm sorry for the grudges I've held against you in the church. And I've apologized to her plenty of times before, but I'll like, you know what, I'm sorry again for messing up the way I did back three years ago. Um, but yeah, that's my favorite youth ministry moment. It has been watching God restore and redeem not only that broken relationship between us but this child that stepped away from him and you was choosing to live in a life of sin. And he totally knocked their socks off again. It was just amazing. And right now she's um, she went off to college for two year program I think. But after that she has plans to join, um, why wham in the circuit riders to go spread the Gospel to campuses across the United States. Like how crazy is that?

16:36 That's so cool how we get this thought in our head, you know what I mean? Like, like, oh, like I, I need to do this so this can happen in these kids lives or man, I really knocked out talk out of the water or whatever. You know, like we think that way. I love the fact that one of your favorite ministry moments is this way to like you at least look at it and go, I kinda got it wrong here, right? Like I, I, I said something maybe not the right way and to see God move and you know what I mean, like sometimes in spite of us, right? Um, is such a powerful thing. And I think when we hang our hat on these great moments, not of like, Hey, I really killed it. Right? But like our great moments are ones where we look at it and go, God is huge, right? And God is all right. I think, I think when we see those as our favorite moments, those lead to longevity because then we're just waiting around and expecting God to move. Right, and I think that that's such a powerful story.

17:57 Yeah. I'm not gonna lie. Just that broken relationship was probably one of the hardest moments in youth ministry for me. Just like knowing I messed up and like, hey, it was also a realization like, like, I'm human too. I'm going to mess up. I'm not going to be the perfect youth ministry leader. It was, it was humbling. It was hard. And the reason why I share it is because I'm sure that there's somebody else out there who feels like, man, I really screwed that one up, but God is the one who redeems that. He's the one that fixes things. It's not us.

18:29 Yeah, absolutely. So that right there is great advice for us all. But yeah, a different thing. I want you to think on, if we could get at a time machine, which I'm really open for one day and you could go back in time. I mean, you are brand new on the job. This isn't just your first year in student ministry, this is your first day on the job. What advice would you give yourself?

19:00 I think it took me like one or two years, over two years to really get connected to a network in my area.

19:10 I think one of the biggest things for me has been finding a network.

19:16 so I'd say like, hey young youth ministry and I know you're totally gung ho about teenagers and Jesus right now and you want to just like when lives for Christ, but get connected to people in the area because they're going to be such a huge port system. Like even I met with my network like about a week ago. It's just so great like people in your area, like especially in New England, it's rare. It's hard to find other people who do what you do. So to just get together and be able to be honest and open and vents a little bit and get a little bit of the crazy out. It's so, so valuable. So yeah, if there's anybody listening that is a first year, find your network. There are so many. So many out there, it's going to be at least one in your area.

20:13 I'm obviously going to be very partial to that and I will say like as totally as a shameless plug or whatever, if you do not have a network, we want to help you with that. At Youth Ministry booster, we have phenomenal mastermind groups to meet every single month, the video chat that you can be a part of a and then we have weekly soul care care calls and those kinds of things and so I completely agree with you. So valuable. I think finding those people that we can share life with because let's be like student ministry is hard and it's weird, right? Like you can't like talk with your friend that works at the bank and try to like relate with them, you know what I mean? Like what you do and what they do and all those kinds of things. And so, and I think finding whether they're physical or whether they're these great like online venues where we can meet through video chat are extremely, extremely valuable and we want what we want healthy youth ministry practices and I think that that's found a through healthy relationships with other ministers as we grow.

21:25 Challenge and inspire one another. Yes, get connected. People met Anna. I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing your story today and it has been very encouraging to me. Uh, I, I have loved so much of what you said today because it has all been about the lord and I, I can't thank you enough for that, uh, in, in the midst of, as we think about ministry being about us or the work, it is solely about God. And I am so thankful for that. I'm so thankful that he uses amazing people like yourself and really weird people like me. And so thank you guys for joining us today on Youth Ministry booster. We want to make sure that you plug in tomorrow as we hear from another amazing woman and youth ministry.

22:20 There you go. That's our interview with Anna. A wonderful, powerful testimony of life change from the New England area. And thanks for sharing. And again, the support system is everything. If you don't have a network, we want you to get plugged in. We want you to check it out. Chad made the plug. I'll give the website www.youthministrybooster.com. Find a network. Find a group, get, as Ana said, some of the crazy out with youth, but who understand and care, we'll see you tomorrow


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Q: How are you? A: I’m doing okay.

If you are in youth ministry you know that okay is the cover against weakness. It’s the veil against a longer discussion or feigns against the more exhausting truthful version of whatever is really happening to you.

"I once had a Christian leader warn me against sharing my weaknesses. He told me it would be used against me.

He was right.

But I'd rather have some people reject an honest version of me, than applaud a fable that I cannot sustain and helps no one.” - Redeemed Youth Minister Blaine Bartel

Honesty’s Got BaggageSo can we talk? Honestly? 

If we are, then, I need to tell you that talking honestly comes with baggage. It means that in our truth-telling there is some stuff that I won’t be able to carry anymore. 

Telling the personal truth is difficult...

This must be named. It is not our normal stance in a position of influence to share the heartfelt from our own heart. For sure, you will share what is on your heart about those in front of you, but rarely do we share our own suffering, weakness, or failure. 

Don’t wait for permission...

Not enough people are going to ask you how you are doing. As a person in a pastoral position, we cannot expect the questions to always first come to us. You need to have a plan, a person, maybe even a professional in your life. 

Share before the care runs out...

Too many pastoral people wind up burn-out and it is because everything came heaping down and they had no way out until it was just too much. As true and as often as you would want a student in your ministry to share with their leader, you too need to be sharing with someone in your life.

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“Support always shows up in the little things

”

The best thing we give to show our support is attentiveness. Whether it is being on time (aka early) for a meeting, taking notes, or listening well we show our support by showing up and paying attention. 

Find ways to be extra careful and responsible for the mundane and monthly tasks. This is where we continue to prove our support. 

  • Take notes during the meeting

  • Make the coffee for the team 

  • Update the sign

  • Offer to help with copies

Ask your senior leadership this week what is one thing. Just one thing you could do that would specifically help them

 

Lead up by leaning in. 

Support starts with small servant minded stuff. It's t

 

Small stuff tunes us into the work the process takes. If we are listening to the details of what our senior leadership asking we might learn what they are hoping to accomplish. 

 

Gaining credibility is a process of proving support. 

If you want to be heard then first start by listening to the conversations. Learn before you lead. Lead by asking questions. 

Opinions. Don’t offer them before it is asked of you.

I know you have great ideas. We all have great ideas. Wait to be asked. Before you offer opinions ask questions. Before you ask questions, take notes and listen. 

Don’t let the one thing you don’t like about your senior leadership be the qualifier or disqualified for their leadership. We all do something unwell. Affirm what you love. Don't nitpick what you hate. 

 

Here's the imagery. There is a three-legged stool of student ministry
  • Students
  • Parents 
  • Staff/support 

You are probably great at the students bit, I mean hey you love student ministry. You probably are even working on a master plan to reach the parents of your students. But what's your staff support plan? 

 

Ask better questions. Don’t give more opinions. 

What leaders value in us is support.

In the same way you want support give support. 

What is invaluable is our creativity, imagination, and insight at the right time. 

 

You Should Vs. We Should

Never underestimate the value of language when addressing problems.  

 

Submitting to authority is good for our heart and good for our ministry.

If you are going to bring a problem bring at least one potential solution 

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