“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” —H.E. Luccock
Each of us in our own way is on God’s stage and playing our part in His orchestra. We may even be playing well and not missing a note—which is important. But perhaps the saddest thing as a musician is to be note-sensitive and yet melody-deaf. Playing on such a large stage, we can often get so lost in our own part that we miss the whole song! And when that happens, we need to look up, look around, and remember that we are not alone.
RENEW.org’s Learning Communities are now being established for Youth Leaders who want a safe yet challenging community where relationships and resources combined.
The Renew Youth Leader Learning Community (LC) is a group of 6-12 youth leaders in a given region who are committed to renewing themselves and those they serve. You come together once every two months (in person or online) for 2.5 hours of study, prayer, and small group discussion that will focus on two areas: your own journey (personal) and your ministry journey (professional).
The purpose of the Youth Leader LC is to engage and encourage you in your own life, provide a safe space to reflect on what you are doing and who you are becoming in the process, and challenge you to continually return to the teachings of Jesus so that you can pass them on to those you are discipling.
5 Reasons You Need a Learning Community
#1 – You Need To Combat Isolation.
Here’s a secret most people in your church do not know and would find hard to believe: isolation and loneliness are par for the course! “How can you feel alone when you are surrounded by young people all the time?” Yet, even if you are in a multi-staﬀ environment, you are probably the only one with your title and job description. This means that the roles and expectations are on you to fulfill. Besides, everyone else on staﬀ have their own ministry roles and expectations to worry about. Even when you are wanting and needing to share, you still need to be careful about what you share and whom you share it with. Leadership in general can lead to loneliness and isolation, but among youth leaders it is a common refrain.
#2 – You Need a Safe Space.
I know you’ve discovered the commonality that is suddenly there when you connect with another Youth Minister. Finally, there is someone who gets you and understands what you are dealing with on the daily—yet you may only see them at youth events or a one-oﬀ youth leader conference. Renew’s Youth Leader LC’s oﬀer a safe space for fellow workers to come together and engage both personally and professionally.
“Leadership in general can lead to loneliness and isolation, but among youth leaders it is a common refrain.”
#3 – You Need Time to Discover & Reflect on Your Own Faith Journey.
RENEW.org seeks to do just that—help you renew! Our times together are geared at ministering to you where you are and to help you take time to discover and reflect on how your ministry is aﬀecting your life. It is an intentional pause from your day-to-day activity to engage with Jesus on a personal level.
#4 – You Know the Value of a Personal Trainer.
There are those that have gym memberships and those who go to the gym. By joining an LC, you will have a scheduled time together that requires you to schedule it into your calendar. You will be reminded of the times, and your cohort members will be there waiting. While we won’t show up to your oﬃce, we know that by intentionally coming together as a cohort, there is the power of accountability.
#5 – You Believe that Jesus Is Still the Answer.
Like the young adults you serve, you are tired of easy answers to complex questions, understand the importance of the journey and not just the destination, and long to know what your faith means beyond the walls of the church. The truth is the world has changed incredibly and we need to be a people who understand the reality of what that means as we live out our faith. Yet at the same time, we understand that Jesus is still the answer and that good theology is still needed, even if the way it is communicated and fleshed out changes.
Our Youth Leader LC’s will engage you with a healthy combination of cultural understanding and the truth that never changes.
“The truth is the world has changed incredibly and we need to be a people who understand the reality of what that means as we live out our faith.”
Here are just a couple of the deep-dives that we will take together to engage Youth Leaders with both personal and professional applications:
- Embracing Tension as a Means of Understanding Discipleship. This discussion will focus on a discipleship drawing by Mike Breen which will be applied as we talk about the two key components for healthy discipleship and the ways that we each are predisposed to one over the other in our own lives. We will discuss the tension involved with acknowledging our natural tendencies and wrestle with the need to change personally or to depend on our community to make up the diﬀerence.
- Building Bridges of Trust that can Withstand the Weight of Truth. There is a big diﬀerence between building walls and building bridges—and both serve a purpose even within the Kingdom of God. We will explore the balance between Grace & Truth that we are all desperate for and look at practical ways that we can apply them to our lives and those we disciple as we seek to live our faith beyond the walls of the church in ways that treat people as people and not projects.
Our Youth Leader LC’s will meet every other month (January, March, May), will break for the summer, and then reconvene to meet in September and November.
If you are interested in becoming part of Renew’s Youth Leader Learning Community, the time is now as these communities are being formed and are due to launch in January. Follow the QR Code if interested (or click HERE for link):