Engaging the Whole Community in Youth Education

Published on: January 19, 2015

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Youth education is the very heart of a Unity center. We need a constant flow of youngsters equipped to carry our principles into the world. We all want the best for our youth, so it is up to everyone to be a part of their spiritual education.
Here are some tips to engage your congregation more fully:

  • Invite individuals (especially men) personally to be a part of the Youth Ed (YE) program. Find something about everyone you come in contact with at your ministry that would be valuable for the youngsters.
  • Make it easy for volunteers to serve; ask for a commitment and rotate their schedules so they can also be in the Sunday service.
  • Train volunteers to interact with the children and treat them as the gift of God they are. Introduce them to individual children with a special word of interest for the volunteer and the child.
  • Start people gradually in the process of working with children, but, don’t use them just to pass out papers and markers. They need to interact in a meaningful way.
  • Spend time getting to know someone you think might be good in Youth Ed. Most people have hidden talents and passions that are wonderful resources.
  • Pair up volunteers so they form a mini-team. Having a partner takes away apprehension.
  • Be open to new ideas and be willing to set aside curriculum occasionally. Figure out how someone’s passion can fit in.
  • Acknowledge volunteers. Besides giving them a copy of the service and a discount in the bookstore, recognize them in the service each week: “This Sunday, _________ is serving in our Youth Ed. Be sure to thank him/her after the service and find out how you might share your talents and hidden treasures.” Put their names in the bulletin each Sunday that they serve. They are walking advertisements for others.
  • Pray with them. Be sensitive to their spiritual needs and pray for them regularly. The YE Director is minister to the volunteers.
  • On Sundays, parents and schoolteachers need to be in the adult service for their own spiritual respite. They can bring snacks or serve YE in other ways.

In Truth, our souls are all the same age, so we all must engage each other in our quest for Unity.

Eileen Douglas

Rev. Eileen Douglas is spiritual leader of Pathfinders, an outgrowth of PATH Ministries. A teacher, a musician, writer, and artist, Rev. Eileen conducts small group discussions and offers classes, workshops, gatherings and spiritual mentoring. She lives with her husband in the NC Blue Ridge Mtns.

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