Some leaders are exceptionally good at "winging it" though youth programs and events. That's ok if it works well for you and can be maintained over the long haul. The problem with this kind of leadership is that it usually limits the number of people involved in programming and centers most of the action around one or two people. If something happens and the people leave, the bottom falls out of the ministry. It is far better to build a team and share the joys and burdens that come with ministering to youth.
I. Philosophy - Meet with your group and develop a shared philosophy for your ministry.
Goals - Each team member should separately list goals they view as significant and then arrive at a group consensus.
II. Six Sure Ways to Sabotage Your Youth Sabbath School - These negatives can be turned into positives by reversing the actions described.
a. Poor Planning - Don't plan ahead, just "wing it."
b. Not keying into your specific youth group - Use a one-size-fits-all approach.
c. Do it alone - Don't delegate anything. That way you can stay in control of everything.
d. Being in a rut - Once you find something that works, keep doing it forever!
e. Unrealistic expectations - Believe kids are going to be "wowed" by whatever you do.
f. Inadequate resources - Never ask the church board for any resources or in-service training.
III. Program Ideas - Ideas are what drive any organization. If you don't have good ones, don't expect good things to happen.
a. Themes - Plan a thematic calendar of programs and events. Be flexible.
b. Topics - Get feedback from your youth on what they want to talk about.
IV. Lesson Study - Contemporize it with current illustrations and Bible translations.
a. Develop a single thought - Don't try to cover every topic raised. Keep it simple and on target.
b. Mix discussion with activity or object lesson - Shy away from cognitive, intellectual discussions. Make things relevant with current illustrations. Use magazine news clips, Internet sources, and other helps.
a. Library - Build a resource library in your youth room or church library. Encourage your church to Invest in its youth by supplying funds for needed planning materials.
b. Panic File - Develop a resource file that can be turned to in times of emergency. Include names of youth counselors, support groups, spare ideas for programs, and critical phone numbers of people who are willing to help in various ways without much warning.