Things Have to Change Post-Covid! Whether it is finally, truly over, is to be seen but it would seem like after exactly two years, we are emerging from Covid.
Schools, restaurants, stores, and yes, the Church. Now as we come out of this as churches and youth ministry, it is time for us to take a hard look at who we were two years ago before this and who we are now. It is time for things to change. Here are ten things that MIGHT have to change?
10. How We Do Food? We have to rethink big bowls of snacks, where students stick their dirty hands in to grab a handful of chips. We may even have to think about how we serve pizza and other items. Most importantly, we DO need to put some food safety & health guidelines, similar to schools, in place for preparing and serving food.
9. The Games We Play? We may need to stop playing certain games or how we play those games. Long gone are the days of spitting items into each other’s mouths, shooting marshmallows from our noses, or even bobbing for items in a mutual container. We MIGHT have to rethink even how we do big group games, that require touching?
8. Our Continued Online Presence? This has been a time for us to step up our game online, through social media, apps, and Zoom. Now that this is all over we need to continue, having an active online presence. We need to even change how much and how often we are available live online as a ministry.
7. The Creativity of Our Content? Through all of this, youth ministry has been forced to be creative. Youth ministry went into overdrive to create new content and resources. We need to keep that creativity going. Now that your youth ministry has proved to students, parents and your leadership can be innovative and creative, there remains a continued raised expectation for high-level, inventive content.
6. How We Make and Keep Connections? If we learned nothing else, we relearned how to make connections with students when we can’t be physically present. We need to rethink how connections are made and even how we keep the connections that were made during this time.
5. Ministry’s Definition of Community? This time has reshaped our definition of many things including “community.” While we still value in-person community, now that all of this is over we need to expand our definition and idea of community. The country certainly has, and our ministry has to as well.
4. The Ways We See, Do, and Continue Discipleship? While person-to-person discipleship relationships hopefully continued throughout this national crisis and will continue on afterward, youth ministry has to see and do discipleship differently moving forward. Even in better ways that will meet the busy schedules of our students with sports and other activities. We now have the opportunity to see the bigger possibilities to disciple students using various modes of virtual communication.
3. Our Understanding of Teaching and Learning? A huge shift from many, if not all ministries, both in youth and the broader church, is our understanding of teaching and learning. While many continued on in their “Preaching-based-model” of learning, we now are realizing students do not just learn through a single style. This time has helped many to see the full list of learning styles. How we teach has to change forever, because how students learn has?
2. Personal and Physical Touch and Greetings? Handshakes, High Fives, and Side Hugs are the youth ministry mainstay of greeting. With a changed world of “Social Distancing”, we might just have to rethink what is socially acceptable when it comes to physical touch and greeting?
1. The New Reality of the NEED for better Parent and Family Ministry? A hole in our ministries has been exposed during the “stay at home” times. Students were at home with their families… A Lot! Parents spent more intentional time than ever before with their children. This extended and concentrated family time has brought up many things. One of those is whether or not our ministries have fully equipped and empowered parents to do the work of at-home ministry. We are now faced with whether or not we were fully partnered with parents as the life-long disciples of their children. We love the philosophy of “Orange”, “D6”, and others, but have we embraced more than the curriculum and the idea. If we haven’t fully engaged with parents, moving forward we WILL have to, as there IS a new reality of the need for better Parent and Family ministry!!
** Be on the lookout for NEW “Faith at Home” Parent/Family Resources COMING SOON! We are taking up the challenge of providing better at-home discipleship resources for parents and families! We are excited to come beside you to offer a FULL collection of resources!