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  • Hannah Williamson

A few thoughts for Youth Pastors & Youth Leaders during this crisis...

It’s funny to talk about preparation in a time of crisis. Crisis tends to happen and all you end up doing is running around trying to fix problems and just get through the next ‘big thing’ that’s happened. We find ourselves in a time of crisis as a world right now and it would be easy to only focus on the here and now, but I think we need to prepare for the aftermath of the crisis. What’s going to happen once we are out of this?

This time gives us an opportunity to flex our visionary muscles in a way, to build up strength and prepare for what is going to happen next.

I’ve been reading about Joseph in the Bible recently and have been inspired by the way he prepared. How he strategically prepared from what God had allowed him to see into the future. Take some time to check out Genesis 41 so that you can understand the context I’m speaking about!

“The food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.” Genesis 41:36

Thought 1: Your youth group does not need to be ruined by this disaster – yes, it may have a huge effect on it for a good amount of time to come, but it’s not going to ruin it, especially if you prepare. The country of Egypt could have been ruined but it wasn’t because God gave Joseph clear strategy in order to avoid this.

“Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God.” Genesis 41:37

Thought 2: You must prioritise time with the Spirit of God in order to gain clear vision for the future let’s not forget this! Ensure you are spending time in the Word, hearing from God for your youth group and its future. This is not just coming up with ‘good ideas’ but coming up with God ideas.

“…and Joseph inspected the entire land of Egypt.” Genesis 41:45

Thought 3: Ensure you have a good understanding of what is going on in young people’s hearts and lives – sometimes we can assume we know how people feel but unless we ask the questions, we won’t know. Get curious. When you speak to a parent or young person on the phone, ask some questions that will help you understand what it really going on. How are people really feeling? What are their fears? Know what you are going to be working with.

“The second son he names Ephraim and said ‘It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” Genesis 41:52

Thought 4: Expect fruitfulness out of this time of suffering – expect that you will be able to lead young people to God over the phone or online. Expect that your youth group will grow as a result. Expect the best!

“And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.” Genesis 41:57

Thought 5: Get prepared for the aftermath because you have no idea how far your preparation will take you – I firmly believe we as the church should be influencing culture and I really believe that your preparing will impact your town and beyond more than you know. If you can prepare for the aftermath well, you may well be able to lead on how to best help people.

To help you in preparing, here are a few questions to ask yourself or ask with your team to prepare for after Covid:

1. How will you work closer with parents? (parents may be more fearful. How will you work with that?)

2. How will you prepare for an influx of mental health challenges? (start training up your team or reading up on this to be ready!)

3. How will you use online and physical presence together moving forward?

4. How will you help young people with big life questions? E.g. about life and death, suffering etc.

5. How will you help kids with online addictions? E.g. porn, gaming, inappropriate relationships etc.

6. How will you step up and help practically? Families in financial difficulties etc.

7. How will you support young people who are grieving?

8. How will you increase your influence in the town? Do people know what you are offering? Now might be a time to look into how to increase that!

9. How will you help your young people to answer questions coming from their non-Christian friends?

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