Youth Ministry Booster Podcast

183: Context Is King In Youth Ministry, Learn to love your where!

September 04, 2019 Episode 183
Youth Ministry Booster Podcast
183: Context Is King In Youth Ministry, Learn to love your where!
Youth Ministry Booster Podcast
183: Context Is King In Youth Ministry, Learn to love your where!
Sep 04, 2019 Episode 183
Youth Ministry Booster
Will Cumby and Zac Workun talk about the importance of knowing and loving your context and community in youth ministry
Show Notes Transcript

WE ARE BACK! Episode 183 is a kick-off to a whole new year and season of Youth Ministry Booster (with some big prizes and announcements in the works!) 

After much-needed summer rest and reset the podcast is back in full force (weekly) with new content (more episodes and more media!) for you, the hard-working, fun-loving youth minister! So wherever you are while you are listening know that this team of fellow youth ministry leaders is praying for you and hoping that this little bit of humor and insight keep you boosted!

Also this... Our friends at Youth Specialities gave us some tickets to give away!!
Win A Free Ticket To NYWC2019!

Want to go to #YouthMinistry Homecoming? Then enter for a chance to win a free ticket to #NYWC19

Click here to enter!

Key Quotes and Takeaways! 

  • “If you can gain their heart, you can get their hand.” Will Cumby 
  • “There is more at stake than just the program tweaks you made for the new school year.” 
  • Most neighborhoods are changing, the climate and cultures are shifting in new and different ways. 
  • “Let me serve you without the promise of a return.” 
  • Expand Your Vision
  • “Learn who the gatekeepers are in your community and learn to meet them at the door.” 
  • “Who are the most influential people in the lives of your students?” Do you know them?”  
  • Adjust the Depth Perception For Your Students” 
  • “Serving others in a new context removes the limitations of seeing the truth of your own community.” 
  • This is why your students need to see how God is working in other places!
  • “The vision of the church needs to be expanded beyond the address of a student’s home church” 
  • “You are more than the show you put together or program you put on each week.” 
  • “We need to find ways to show up in places that students are daily.” 

Support the show

Speaker 1:
Speaker 2:
what is up everybody? It is time. It is town to be back. It is good to be back and I hope that everybody had a wonderful summer. Welcome to episode one 83 of the Youth Ministry of Booster podcast and we could not be more excited to be here with you kicking it back off for this fall season and brand new year of content and community with all of our favorite youth ministry buds. We are excited for the things that we have in store for you and if you have not ever checked out youth ministry booster as a network for you, then you must check it out this fall. We have a brand new season of masterminds launching with lots of really cool interactive elements, Soul Care Coaching and resources that you will not want to miss out and hey, it's the kind of thing that you've finished yours. Don't spend the money on it that they should because investing in yourself is a direct investment in your ministry.
Speaker 2:
This week we are kicking it back with our good friend will come be talking about context in ministry cause all month long we're talking about context and ministry and how important the where you serve is to the, what you're doing in ministry. But before we get into that content, just wanted to tell you at the front and remind you at the end that we are giving away two tickets to youth ministry prom. Nope. No, just kidding. But we are giving away two tickets to national youth workers convention by Y s and Tampa. We're going to be there hanging with all of our friends. We've got the booth, we've got some games planned. We're gonna be doing a live podcast recording and we would love to hang out with all of our friends at the biggest conference in Youth Ministry this year in Florida with you. So two tickets to go. All you gotta do. Check the link below to sign up. Put your name, your email, your number, let a friend know about it. Maybe you get some more chances to win. Let them know that you're going to Tampa this November for youth ministry conference, National Youth Workers Convention. [inaudible] don't miss the biggest conference in youth ministry, but until the end, here's my good friend and we'll come be talking about context.
Speaker 2:
Hey everybody, we're so glad to be back.
Speaker 3:
Uh, here. My buddy will come be talking about youth ministry after a hiatus of a song or I don't know how you're feeling wheel, but I am feeling energized and hype. And so if your energy is up, I'm feeling up and for everybody else listed, maybe I need to buckle in a little bit, but we'll catch us up, man. Uh, we're in the world. Have you been the last eight weeks of your life and where do you want to take us in the next 80 years? The next 80 years, right? This summer has been absolutely amazing. I had the chance to, uh, do a huge revival down in Columbia, South America. It was absolutely amazing. You don't realize how much you appreciate air conditioning until it is a luxury. So when you're out there preaching to a hundred kids in the sun and you come back just dripping in sweat.
Speaker 3:
Yeah, that's, that's but you know, that's called ministry in the trenches. Um, I guess after that I came back to Houston, did stuff and then had the opportunity to go do my first summer camp at Yosemite Sierra summer camp out in Bass Lake, California. Absolutely amazing track a serving those kids out there. Took my son crazy story. You know, we don't realize how much our children are ascertaining or pulling from us, but we get to the camp and I tell my son, hey, I want you to have fun with me. He says, okay. He says, Dad, I want to talk. I was like, what? So he actually stands up in front of this group of kids and begins to tell them how this week we're family, we want you to listen and learn and the like, my kid's seven and these kids are 10 years old and up all the way to high school. And he became like the cool kid of camp because he could talk. Wow. That was a pretty amazing moment. And then, um, back to Houston again serving, uh, I got to manhood camp coming up real soon. It's a, a camp for inner city boys. So yeah, I've been running, I've been running, I don't even know what the summer is.
Speaker 2:
Just, just there's more, more of the same season man is more of the same on season,
Speaker 3:
you know, it's just work with son. Yeah. Just that the heat on with the heat on, right with the heat on man.
Speaker 2:
Well, well we want to talk a little bit, so we're gonna spend the most of our month in September talking about things related to context or how much we know our context. All of our mastermind groups and conversation partners over at youth ministry booster the network or talking about things related to a better understanding of our context and there's nobody else I'd rather have a conversation with than you. Uh, a man who city gave him his own day because of how much or how much you love and care about Houston. That's one of the things that I think, you know, in our friendship, a conversation that, that you're always filtering through. You know, what does it mean to do youth ministry, where I'm at in this moment for these people. And so I would just love to maybe have that conversation with you about what, what are some things about context that you have learned to be true for you? Or what are some things that you would say are unique to the place that you're serving that maybe you didn't know immediately that you know now?
Speaker 3:
Well, you know, anything. Just like with missions and anything you do, you can't go in there expecting that everyone's going to bend to your will or to your whim. Like you were coming in as the foremost authority because you went to school, right? Right. At the end of the day, it's their community, right? And if you want the community, I like to tell people, if you can get their heart, you can get their hand. And so if you're trying to get their hands to do work for you, but you've never ganged their heart, they're never really going to be as committed as you want them to be. So, I mean, when I came in, I had this perspective on graduated from Oral Roberts University and I was like, yeah, I've got all this schooling behind me. You're going to do exactly what I like. And then when I got here, they were like, yeah, Nah, we don't, we're good.
Speaker 3:
We're good, we're good. And they were all like, come on, we're going to bring in some guitars and we're just got it. They were like, Nah, Bruh. Uh, I mean, that's cool. Yeah. But, uh, we need, we need a baseline. And so it was, it was interesting to come in and learn that. And then, you know, the other thing about Houston, I grew up on one side of the city. And, um, what's interesting, and it's probably true for a lot of cities in America, is the north side is different from the south side. And the West is different from the east. And although this side of town was only maybe 25 minutes from where I grew up, I had never been on this side of town. MMM. And didn't realize the cultural nuances that were different from where I grew up. Uh, they call this a bedroom city, which is like, um, people move in to this side of town and they never move out. And so it's a very close knit community. And so in order for you to be, uh, involved in, in order to get anything done, you've got to be involved with like the concerns Houston Citizens Commission. You've gotta be going to the y like, yeah, they want to know, do you love this community before you ask us to do anything for you?
Speaker 2:
Cause they're, they, they're, they're, they've, they've built their life, their, they're entrenched there. Uh, which I think for so many young youth pastors or young to the place that they're at, new to the place that they're at. Like there is some deep history of the town or city that you're serving in both in kind of like a broad perspective of you know whether it's a Houston or an la or a Tulsa or Raleigh or whatever. But even in those kinds of neighborhoods too, like that's one of the things that like the, there there is a a story of what used to be ride around or the church or the community and in the story of what's coming upon it right now for so many people there is like the, the things are either getting better or newer or getting worse and like people are moving out or moving in or things are changing and being able to identify both with the history and the people maybe that are thinking about wondering, worrying or pain about what used to be and those that are, you know, part of whatever is moving or changing and be able to identify those things like that matters and the life of the ways in which you're trying to lead and care for young people in their families.
Speaker 2:
Like there is more at stake than just like how you redesigned the youth room to make sense for kids on Sundays at 6:00 PM. Like there is a life of the community happening around you and you'd have the stories of the businesses that are opening and closing, uh, you know, the neighborhoods that used to be everybody's favorite to hang out in that aren't anymore. Or vice versa. There's just so much to that. Is there anything that's like really fun and unique and specific about your neighborhood that you've learned that was just some that's like been like a gym for you? It's kind of like a story to hold up or kind of showcase?
Speaker 3:
Well, what I have learned about my community is that, uh, they are very, um, it's Texas. So Texas football is a big deal yeah. Down here. And so what I did have to learn is getting to know the rivalries in, in this community. So some of their, some of the schools here have two particular as Willow Ridge, uh, Marshall Madison High School. These are the schools that, I mean, they, you grow up and you still wear your Letterman jacket at 65 years old because that's okay kind of thing. And so one of my, my really big stories was there was a lady here, um, as an older woman. And, um, I'd befriended her and became really cool with her. She was wanting to like, I guess a elder at our church. And she was like, if you can get good with me, I can get you in everywhere. And I was like, what?
Speaker 3:
So I started to serve her whenever she needed. I would be the guy like, okay, you need to, you need your car parked, I'll park your car for you. Uh, you need this done, I'll do that. And by me serving her, that opened me up to so many other opportunities within the community, right. Just being a servant. And she's like, oh, okay. So then whenever I needed to get into a different high school, she was my go-to. She was the one that say, hey, will's a good guy. You need to, you need to let him do this. Uh, will's a good guy. You need to let him have this room for free, this, that and the other. And so that's, that was kind of like a big breaking moment for me because she was like, I trust this guy because he has a good heart and a good spirit.
Speaker 3:
And it came from just that servant mentality. Um, you know, I'm going to take care of the things that bother you. And so me taking care of her, open the door for me to do more, um, in our community. And it's been amazing since then to be able to, you know, be the one to lead an invocation at a, at a city prayer and things like that. And so oftentimes we are so excited about getting the end without realizing everything has a beginning. And that beginning starts with service. Who can I serve? Let me serve you without trying to get a platform. Let me serve you without trying to get a paycheck. Let me serve you without trying to get something from you other than if you give me a thank you, I'm good. Yeah. And that's just the, that's the context of the Bible. Yeah. You know, it's, it's that service thing. I'm, I'm, I'm reading Jonah right now and how Jonah was like, he's like, Yo, we're good in our little thing. And God was like, Yo, I need you to go over there and Nineveh. And he's like, good. You know, you know, these people don't even like us and, but it goes back to we've got to get out of that. We're good and go in to serve those. Whether you even meet or you don't, I'm going to serve. MMM. Let God do the work.
Speaker 2:
Well, so this, this is, this is where I think youth ministry needs mission trips. So like I, I have this like this whole chapter of a thing that like I've, some of the biggest arguments I've had with youth pastors is like, I'm a big believer. I think camps are awesome. I think mission trips are like necessary and I, I get that they're expensive. I get that like 10 days in a different country is maybe not going to change the like political or economical climate of, you know, wherever South East Asia or Africa or Asian region you're going to, however, for the life of your students to take stock of what it looks like to do the work of a missionary in a place that is totally new to them I think can really help them reevaluate how we're doing ministry at home. Uh, so some of my favorite people are missionaries, Southeast Asia and they have it down to like a formula of when they go into a new village and they kind of like the country that they're serving in, uh, has a couple of kind of larger metropolis areas and then a lot more rural areas, which sounds a lot like Oklahoma and Texas.
Speaker 2:
You got about two or three cities and then everything else is just west or east Texas or it's just panhandle country. But when they go into the villages, because they are in the more of the rural remote region, like the first thing they do is they, they meet with the elders. They meet with the gatekeepers of the city. They announced who they are. This is what we're about. We just wanted to say that we'd like to offer because their big thing is clean water. So we'd like to offer, um, to put it in a clean water kind of filtration retention system at the school in your village. Cause every school has a, a city or town kind of square and then has a, a school for all the Kiddos. And so that's like the first step. The second step is prayer, walking and meeting with some of the folks on the perimeter of the town.
Speaker 2:
And the third step is the action and the action is the water tank into the training classes, into the Bible Studies, into the house churches. But that first step is always meeting with the gatekeepers. It's, it's the town elders. Uh, I mean it's, it's the, you know, the Jesus sending out the 70 to meet with folks at the door. Like meet the gatekeeper at the door, meet the one who holds the door at the door and say peace, peace unto you. And if they say no, then you dust your feet. And I just, we, we haven't done that. We show up to church, put our head down and start doing youth ministry and we don't know principals, we don't know coaches. We don't know key parents, like we're just trying to reach kids. But there's so many of these other people that are gatekeepers in the lives of these students that we have put no time.
Speaker 3:
And we did a, uh, our first mission trip as a youth group this past summer. Um, and it was a little, now we've done like trips to overseas, but we'd never done a local one, like a real local one. And we connected and went to New Orleans. And although it was awesome to serve the city of New Orleans, there was a second mission field, which was our kids with other kids from other communities that were their own missions as well. And so our kids were able to meet these kids from Indiana and Michigan and we, and if I can be transparent with you, um, they didn't look like us. Yeah. So our our, our brown kids were hanging with kids that did not look Brown yet there was the synergy cause it was like, hey we're here to serve. I want to know about how do you do things in your church, how do you do things that our church and so sometimes we even got to realize that when we are going out to serve others that there's another, there's another layer of where our kids are meeting with other kids that they would not normally hang with and they begin to that breaks down that wall, that wall of like, Hey I'm not that you're bad and I'm good but I'm good where I am.
Speaker 3:
Speaker 2:
Well Church Church church ends up looking like your address, your church building, right? Like for them like faith is only formed at the building and they worshiped in on Sundays for the middle school or high school years of their life. And that's just, it's far too limiting. It's far too limiting. Yeah.
Speaker 3:
Far too limiting man. And that service thing is, and having our kids serve each other in, in serving. Like one of the events that I love to do here, um, we've totally taken a left on a new tangent, but, uh, it's, it's this one cop, peanut butter and Jelly, which, you know, we've got to look out for gluten free and peanut allergies and stuff like that. But we, we actually connect it with, um, a Muslim mosque or youth pastor from a, a mosque. And we were like, hey man, there's a big homeless community right in our backyard. I could serve them and that's cool and you can serve them. That's cool, but how can we do it together? So I was like, Yo, I'll bring the jelly and the bread. He's like, I'll bring peanut butter and I'll bring chips. And we ask that our kids together here at the church and we made peanut and jelly sandwiches and then we went and served them in the community.
Speaker 3:
And then we came back and our kids were able to dialogue about service and then how we serve God in, in from our different perspectives. And it was so amazing because it was so many layers of service. And we talked to getting into our community is not so much, I like to tell people it's not about I'm writing, you're wrong, but let me tell you how, how, right my God is for me. And if you choose to do it, God bless it. But that's, that's where I'm at with it, man. We've got to get in the community and stop living in these silos of I'm better, but I might be different. But we need to still reach our community because our communities are suffering from segregation and it's more than religious. It's sometimes just the fact that I go to first baptist and you go to new Presbyterian, right? Cause that's, that's there too. But we can connect [inaudible] and really, and kids are dying, man. And that's, and beyond physical death. They're dying from like just, they're living this depression and we've got to get into these, to the, to their lives and say, hey man, there's a better way. Yeah. I think there's hope
Speaker 2:
and, and it's, and it's so much more than just refining our program to make it better and better on a Sunday or Wednesday. I think that's one of the things that there's this pressure I think in a lot of youth ministries lives that like, like I, I am judged by, you know, how good of a show I put on, on midweek or Sunday cause that's when my pastor's watching or that's when like the deacons or the leadership team are also at church seeing me. And like I think the most Jed I moved that a youth pastor can make is to find a way to like show up and the places that students are, um, on the sports field. Uh, and like the, the schools or in the afterschool programs, but documented well enough that the senior leadership can see the accounting of it. Cause that's not, that's that's all the senior leader wants.
Speaker 2:
Right. Like cause you can see it. How did you DJ did you work? It did, yeah. Are you connecting to the students? Cause you've got you gotta, you've gotta have a good like whatever the weekly rhythm of church life is. You've got to be at staff meeting, you've got to be a part of the things that are going on in the church. But if you're going to go put the time in at being at the football game or being at, you know, the debate teams like club training, meeting, whatever, like be social media minded enough to document it and send it to the right people. I don't just take pics for Instagram sake but send those out can be serving. Yeah Dude. Like honestly, like that's the, the weirdest feelings about the self promotion of like this is me hanging out with the kids at the thing for the football or this is me like assistant coaching, the soccer team man.
Speaker 2:
Document that not just for your own like social capital of, you know, influencing, connecting young people. But man, send that back to the senior leaders of folks that are investing in you and finding that like you, you are embedding yourself in the context and community of your church. Uh, but you're not doing it while being absent from the work that they've hired or called you to do. And I think that's like that's the hard part is that like there's like the things that we're talking about of like knowing your context well means yes, being out of the office more, but man make it really clear to the secretary or the pastor, whoever that like I'm leaving the office not to just go home. I'm going to be here. Like
Speaker 3:
you have a plan, a strategy for what you're doing. You're not just um, just going but you have energy in its in like you go back to what you're saying about taking pictures and things of that sort. Sometimes the, the body, the church body meaning those who attend your church, they need to know that your church is in the community. Cause a lot of times it's like, Oh man, our churches in the community, man, they're not doing anything. Well you could be but they just don't know. So taking those pictures, yes, it shows you're there, but also it shows the community that the church is there as well. Um, cause they'll be quick to say, man, how come my church isn't at this school? How can my church isn't over here we are, check out our Instagram page. Hey check out this here. Here we are. And you know what, I'll be honest. They get a kick out of that. They love it. Love it. Like yeah. Did you see our youth pastor? Yeah, they were serving at x and y's school the other day
Speaker 2:
prior to the football game. Like he was there, he was there like serving donuts or whatever. Like
Speaker 3:
give them stuff to talk about like show, showcase the things that are happening into it may like, that's like in the same way that like you feel good every time. Your students are like having an awesome time. Uh, you know, we get, you know, ignite or insight ministries like flip the script on them and be like, you know, tagging them and the thing that they're doing or you being a physical presence of where they're at and just putting yourself out there in the, in the, in the context of your community so that you are meeting with the right gatekeepers. And then you're also documenting it to the right people. Cause I think it's one of the things that like, yeah, you texted, he says something right there, document it. Make sure when you are at these events that you tag back your church, Hey, I'm at such and such community, faith, whatever at what some such school.
Speaker 3:
By putting those tags in there, it increases the bandwidth. It shows like, Hey, here's where we are. And then as community leaders and community people are looking, they're still doing that now. Now here's, let's go back to that self promotion thing. It also gives you opportunity for other things because those school direction, school districts see that tag over and over again that you're tagging, hey, I'm here. Hey, I'm here. And then when they're looking for someone to come in and do something, they're going to see, oh, this person's always around. Let me go ahead and use them because I'm not having to filter because I already know that they are trustworthy person. Right? I've seen that in my own life because I tag every time I go to someplace. Um, because I, I want, I want those school district leaders to see that, hey, we are in the community. We do care. We're not just sitting on the outside. Right. That's it. Being narcissistic, being like, Hey, we have church service. Come see us. No, we're going to come to you.
Speaker 2:
Yeah. We're, we're, we're at where you're at. So you can't be self promotion because you, you went to them. And so, no, that's good. Yeah. Well, we'll pick up this conversation more in the next couple of weeks. Some of our other friends will, any last thoughts out the door for us is we've got to have this month of conversation around context and community. Um, let me give you this. Go to serve and not to be seen to be served long enough. They'll see you. They'll see it. That's good. We'll come be pleasure as always my friend. We'll catch up more soon. Thanks. Listen to the booster podcast and check the links below.
Speaker 4:

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