Talking Youth Ministry in the New Normal

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

Scooter Kellum

Hey, everyone. My name is Scooter Kellum and I am the youth ministry strategist for the Alabama State Board of Missions and we are here with a virtual round table just to talk youth ministry and so we’ve got a group of youth pastors from around the state here and we are so excited to be talking youth ministry. We really don’t have an agenda. So you’re getting to join in on our virtual round table just to talk. So, here we go. Jeremy, why don’t you start us off and introduce yourself.

Jeremy Jones

I’m Jeremy. Jeremy Jones. Crossroads Community Church.

Clint Bryant

Hey, I’m Clint Bryant. I am from Taylor Road Baptist Church.

Terrance Andrews

Hey, everybody it’s Terrence Andrews from West Meade Baptist Church.

Jeremy Montgomery

Hey, everybody, I’m Jeremy Montgomery. I’m from Dauphin Way Baptist Church.

Denise Sanders

I’m Denise Sanders from Chalkhead Baptist Church.

Josh Meadows

I’m Josh Meadows from New Valley Baptist.

Trent Nolan

I’m Trent Nolan from First Baptist Church Demopolis.

Scooter Kellum

All right, does that leave Jamie Baldwin. Sunday School youth strategist for the State of Alabama. All right, does that do it?

Garrett Davis

And I’m Garrett Davis Carolina Baptist in Andalusia.

Terrance Andrews

Awesome. Well, hey, guys, I guess I’m gonna kick it off because I had a question bouncing around and I’ve had this question for a long time bouncing around in my mind for the last several weeks, maybe two months at least and it’s about student ministry and it’s about concerning the climate that we find ourselves in, right? This pandemic, coronavirus, all of the changes that’s happened and the question that I wanna ask is it doesn’t have to do with I’ve got the answer and it’s not coming from a place of we should or we shouldn’t, but it’s just a general discussion to kind of get a little bit deeper into the nooks and the crannies of student ministry. And it’s this. In light of this current situation that we find ourselves in, do you find yourselves wanting just to return to a normal status of student ministry or do you find yourself wanting to allow for the uniqueness that we find ourselves in to make changes? Not to end things and begin things, but to change directions in some ways that we’ve been kind of maybe stuck in and I know stuck’s a bad word because it’s a negative thing, but really that’s the kind of discussion that I would love to have and to bounce ideas off. Are you looking to just return to normal or are you looking for something very unique on the other side of this? Or in the midst of it? We already kind of have a pre-discussion and I’m gonna give the viewers, we’ve talked about Zoom and different things and I hope that comes up, but what sparked it was the summer camp discussion. Are you looking just to go to summer camp again because that’s how we measure success, by doing a summer camp, by doing DNOWs. Is everybody tracking with what I’m putting down or is that too complicated? General discussion topic. So, that’s where I wanna go. Not everybody at once.

Clint Bryant

I’ll say, I’ve thought about that same thing, too, with excitement honestly, because I know, you know, we changed some things a couple of years ago, but then you still find yourself in a rut in student ministry. Feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over, the same. I like change. I like shaking things up and doing things different and our church, Pastor Daniel and I, we’ve talked about this. I think when we’re done with this, this is gonna be a revitalization process and in that revitalization process is a great opportunity to say hey, what has worked, what hasn’t worked and what were we doing simply because it was tradition and what can we do different to make it more effective to generation Z? Man, great question. That’s something we thought about, too.

Garrett Davis

You know, I’ve looked at, with our youth ministry, we’ve been in a rut. I mean, obviously me and my wife, we talk about it and, you know, we just get into the pattern of three songs, three worship songs, me come up and preach, invitation, go home. And, you know, I was really scratching my head. My creative juices were not flowing, but I think this has give us an opportunity to, you know, step back and look at that and say, you know, how can we change this? I know, and you know, we’ve canceled camp. We’ve canceled a lot of things that we were gonna do this summer and for my family personally, for me, my boys and my wife, this slow down has been the greatest thing that’s ever happened to our family. I mean, we have enjoyed each other, we have enjoyed, you know, we go fishing in the afternoon, we ride the boat together. And, you know, I’ve told my students that maybe, just maybe, you know, this slow down for the summer, this really just unplug, we’re not going anywhere, we’re just gonna do things. Maybe this is gonna be one of the greatest things that happens to our youth group family. Maybe this is gonna be what we need to just kind of reboot and, you know, just really refocus on what’s most important. And, you know, we all, y’all know that, you know, production, you know, doing the actual service is not what’s the most important. You know, it’s, you know, really bonding with these kids, really growing and I think that maybe it’s like an onion. We’re gonna be able to peel the layers off this summer and really just grow and get into some deep student ministry. I mean I just feel like that’s what’s gonna happen and I think that’s gonna happen strictly out of the simplicity that this has caused us to take.

Jeremy Montgomery

Terrence, I’ll tell you man. The exciting thing we’ve been looking at it just, it’s allowed us to go back and kind of refocus on our youth ministry strategy. We found that we had cluttered up our calendar a lot with just, you know, activities and things like that, all which were good, but we were trying to figure out, okay, we’ve added a lot to our calendar, but what are all these events accomplishing and what is their purpose and why are we spending a lot of time, energy and resources doing them if they don’t really fit in the strategy if you see what I’m saying. And so what the pandemic, I guess, has afforded us is a clean slate so to speak, where we said okay, we’re gonna, we’re gonna get rid of everything on our calendar and then when we start trying to figure out how to quote unquote replace those things, we’re gonna ask ourselves a question. Why do we wanna replace them? What goals, what purposes, what functions are they achieving in our overall strategy and it’s even allowed is to take a loot at our strategy and refine it a little bit, to take some time where we don’t have to do those events and do those things and ask ourselves a question, okay, like what, to use Super Summer, for example, I hate to bring that up right now, ’cause it’s still, we all still miss it, but why was I doing Super Summer? Why was I going to Centrifuge? Why was I doing the back to school retreat? And if I really couldn’t come up with a reason or, you know, to fit our strategy, now’s the time to say, I think I’m gonna put that aside then, and come up with some things, so that’s what we’ve been doing as a student ministry is focusing and refining our strategy when it comes to evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, you know, all those functions that we believe are important in the youth ministry and then saying okay, let’s get rid of those things. Now we can do that and now when we start to fill the calendar again, let’s not just fill it to be busy, but now let’s fill it with purpose. If it goes on the calendar and it’s a function, what’s it achieving in youth ministry, how’s it helping us? And that’s really been a breath of fresh air for us. Like Clint said, it provides some newness for us. We’re getting to do some new things because we were able to get rid of some old things if that makes sense. You know, we always had to do whatever special event in June. Well, now we don’t have to do that event anymore, so now wait, our back to school retreat is actually, a student came up with a name for it, it’s gonna be the back together retreat when we do it and so and what’s it’s purpose now? What are we gonna be doing with it and things like that, so it’s been really good. It’s been really refreshing to be able to take and even work on our strategy a little bit and fine tune it and say okay, we gotta start at the top and then we’ll start filling in with all the events now that we’ve got our strategy fine tuned. But, you know, I don’t get a lot of time to work on the strategy, ’cause I’m always trying to work on the events. And so now I’ve been able to not work on the events and kinda fine tune the youth ministry strategy so to speak and what we’re trying to do.

Denise Andrews

One thing it has done for me Terrence, and again I’m coming from a small church. You guys probably, you already have a lot of the things in place I think that God has revealed to me being at a smaller church. Excuse me, but Scooter could tell you, for probably a year and a half I been nagging him or I did for something to help me build a leadership team with my kids because they don’t have that. And several months ago God put six specific kids on my heart as my future leaders. And I’m thinking how am I gonna do this. And it ends up five of those signed up for Super Summer. And God, it’s like that was a confirmation for me, and the one that didn’t, it was only because of an extracurricular thing that she was tied into to. So it’s like God confirmed that, so now through this time, I’ve already contacted them after our Zoom youth meeting Wednesday night. I had another meeting with those five. Haven’t talked to the sixth one yet, but with those five, they are my leadership team, so that has come out of this. They’re excited. What I want, I have a youth council, they’re phenomenal, but as a teacher, as a retired teacher, it’s like I’m so used to making all the decisions for my students and God revealed to me a couple of years ago that’s not how this works and finally I’m seeing that come to fruition. I’m seeing my leaders step up. Also I have wanted to do more of a worship service style on Wednesday nights with my kids. I didn’t have music. I didn’t have anybody to play music, I didn’t have anybody to lead music. Well, through this situation, our pastor’s daughter has had to lead music on the services online. So she’s playing guitar all summer long and another girl has stepped up and during our youth Zoom meetings, we’ve started praise and worship, those two, so, I’m seeing God put all this together what’s been on my heart for quite a while, but I haven’t, like Jeremy saying I haven’t slowed down to, I been so busy with what to do and I haven’t listened to how to do it. So, if that makes sense. Those are two huge things for my ministry that God has revealed. So I’m able to put students in those leadership positions and help me make these decisions. So I’m very excited.

Jeremy Jones

Yeah, I think for me it’s kind of been interesting is we’ve kind of talked a lot about it as a church, but I’ve never really looked at it in the student ministry is how the rhythms of, you know, the way things go and we’re seeing such a hunger for people to be at church, even our students. You know, they’re tired of the Zoom, they wanna meet together, they wanna be together. We had a scheduled, this past Wednesday night, and they were all disappointed. I had a bunch of students coming that haven’t been in a while, but rain kind of rained out our Wednesday night, ’cause we do it outdoors, but they’re all excited about this Wednesday. And so maybe even thinking through the year and creating periods of breaks in order to kind of break away for a moment, so they begin to come back. You know, we do that as church a lot. Around July 4, we shut down everything during that week and don’t have anything during Christmas. We don’t do a lot that’s not a big time. I mean, we do leading up to Christmas, but then Christmas through New Year’s there’s not a lot going on as a church because then everybody is excited about what’s going on in January because we’ve been away for a little while and so creating those maybe opportunities because that’s what’s kind of created that hunger for the students to be together is being away and we kind of forced it. I mean I wouldn’t say take two months off, but I think creating those moments, whether it’s in the beginning before the summer starts or right before in July, you know, taking that pause and just saying hey, these next couple of weeks we’re not gonna meet, we’re gonna really fire up for this moment and just kind of creating those rhythms. ‘Cause we’re seeing that. There’s a lot more excitement about church, to be at church now because they couldn’t be at church and maybe creating those opportunities. And more being simpler and focused and how wild we do it. Not just ’cause I have to meet ’cause it’s a Wednesday night, I have to meet and we have to have youth worship. I mean, maybe creating some other different things.

Terrance Andrews

I think, I can say this, Denise. You’re not alone, Jeremy you’re not alone. None of us are alone in this situation, right? The thing that I enjoy the best, and I know this is gonna seem kind of weird, but I enjoy seeing that organic ministry and I’m sorry for the hipster new age word, but the organic ministry that is becoming, to become real in different student ministries across. You know, we’ve got a big student net up here comprised of probably 10 or 15 churches and we get together and we meet and we talk and we’ve got the GroupMe. Everyone is doing something different and surprisingly, that might be what ministry is all about, right? Just the nature of the beast. Jeremy’s doesn’t look like Denise’s, doesn’t look like Trent’s, doesn’t look like Josh’s, mine doesn’t look like any of y’all’s. We’re not serving the same exact people. We’re serving the same God, but not the same people and we’re all in different locations. We all have different mix-ups of different people that have been walking with Jesus for long periods of time or a lot of new believers or a mix of somewhere in between and I love seeing that ministry in general, is kind of being, shaken and stirred and refined down to its fine elements of why do we do it? How do we do, when do we do it? Okay, what’s the purpose? What’s the underlying goal of doing these things. I find myself asking a lot of questions, Denise, about leadership. Going into it, man, I thought if you would have asked me, I thought we had the leadership thing down. It was going great. The student ministry leadership looked fantastic. Everything was great. Three to four, five weeks in, I found myself questioning if I even had a student leadership. And that’s nobody fault but really my own because I didn’t recognize the weak points going into that. So you’re not alone Denise in the fact that you have a small church and you think, well, everybody’s got this leadership, this great team of, it’s not the fact. And I think the head nods that I got from everybody when I said that going, was to prove, everybody’s kind of in the same boat. So stepping back a couple feet away and taking a good 40-foot view of leadership, man, is a fantastic thing. What else is going on that might be not normal in the student ministries?

Scooter Kellum

Could I ask a couple of questions?

Terrance Andrews

Yeah, man, hit us up.

Scooter Kellum

Well, a couple of things that really, I guess not as much of the not normal, but just youth ministry in general that Jeremy, you talked about having the youth ministry strategy and developing a new one or kind of adjusting that, admitting that, as well as student leadership. For you, Denise, it was you recently have come in to be a part of Super Summer Alabama and that’s a big deal for you, but when you think about a youth ministry strategy, one, I guess my question would be do you have one? Two, what does it look like? And then three, I guess, what are you doing for your student leadership team if you have one, like what does that look like for you, as well? So, I guess, you can answer any of those, all of those or, you know, but I don’t wanna take all the time in that, but I do think that that’s important for all of us as well as churches out there cause there’s probably a lot of youth pastors that might not have a youth ministry strategy or for what it looks like on the bigger scale. And what it looks like in your church. And that, and let’s just face it, big or small, Denise, you said you were from a small church. You need a strategy. And a large church, depending on, no matter what your size is, you need a strategy to do ministry and then also you need leadership. So I’ll let y’all kind of take that how you want, but I just think that that’s something that could be helpful for all of us as well as that. And maybe you’re already thinking about what that’s gonna look like with the new normal.

Josh Meadows

So, Scooter, one of the things for us is that we have a big picture mission of vision as far as the church and then that dwindles down to me as a family guy for families and having a strategy for that and I love doing that. I love thinking through that. But what this has made me realize is that that really is what matters. Because, the fun stuff that we did in kids’ ministry, the fun stuff that we did in youth ministry, I can’t do any of that. And now that’s part of it. I’m not, but the end goal for us is to have people who love Jesus with their whole heart and to graduate students and send them to their next mission field which is college and to teach them to do that and that starts with us, all the way down in the nursery, but stuff’s been, some of that’s been taken away in this time and so just like many of you, like the idea for us is to go back to we kind of have four things that are our four things that we wanna see created when a student is sent into that next phase of life that this is who they are, this is what they’re about and the focus goes back to those things, not just on the, even the week to week fun stuff. So, I’ve been very grateful for this time. I miss being in the room. They miss being in the same room with each other. Honestly our church leadership has made the decision that because of the social distance policy of the state, that we’re not gonna be social distance police and put our children or teenagers in the same space and have to fuss at them the whole time about social distancing. So we can’t meet. We’re still having to do everything online, and you know, they can come to church on Sundays. We have, just, it’s like a Tetris puzzle to put the pieces together to get people in the auditorium and all that stuff. So, literally all the things that we would have done have been stripped away. All the fun stuff, all that kind of stuff and it goes back to no, we’re supposed to make disciples. And if we have to use Zoom to do that, then we use Zoom to do that. If we have to meet early in the morning in a restaurant and sit weirdly around the table so we’re still practicing social distance, then I’m good with that because we’re putting our kids in the word and letting God’s word do what it does. So that, for me, that’s, you know step one for us is for somebody to have authentic faith and step two for us is to practice spiritual disciplines and I think that, it’s not, I say step one and step two, it really isn’t necessarily always step one, step two, step three, step four, it’s all together, but it’s got to be like that’s the mission vision that we have and so we, it’s just pushed me to go back to that, because that’s the thing that matters more than anything else, so.

Terrance Andrews

I think, I think for myself, and I’m just, I’m the outside box guy, okay, so bear with me for a moment. I live outside the box. I don’t even know if I have a box, right. The word strategy kind of confines me to right here and if I had a strategy going into this pandemic, my strategy got ripped up, thrown in the fire, and burnt to a crisp, right? So I started to begin to pray about God’s strategy if you wanna put it on there. And I kind of boiled it down to the words found in our student ministry standard. And yes, it starts with an S, so it’d be a great sermon, right? Strategies, standards. It basically says this, that we desire to see our students submitted and obedient to the will of God, the Father, through the leadership and the power of the Holy Spirit, for the namesake of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And that’s period. And it goes back to what Garrett said. Hey, how do we graduate young men and women on fire for kingdom building, world changing, gospel dominating lives, passionately madly in love with the Lord Jesus Christ. It does start all the way back at our children’s ministry. It starts with parents, right? And we’re sitting here going how do we do children’s ministry. We gotta equip the parents. Well, how do we equip the parents? Well, we though we were doing that with small groups and discipleship groups and such like that. Now, the Zoom has happened and two months later, for the most part, I can identify everybody’s done. They’re tired of Zoom, they’re tired of that. So as this draws out, as it continues to go on and we can’t meet, where’s the authentic organic nature discipleship happening. How do we facilitate that with our parents to then drop into some type of family structure of discipleship that we truly see being biblically based. That’s a big long question with a dot, dot, dot at the end. I think returning to just the basics. Being submitted to the will of the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit for namesake of Jesus, period, allows us to focus, and that’s for us, this is for us. This is not for somebody to go oh, yeah, I’m gonna write that down. I’m gonna do that, too. Let God guide you. Let God take a hold of your ministry and do what God wants to do with it.

Jeremy Montgomery

I’ll tell you, Terrence, for somebody that doesn’t like strategy, you’re saying a lot of things that sounds like a strategy. You know, that’s been the good part about taking the time to get the strategy and refining it and things like that because then I know what I wanna do, I just gotta figure out how I’ll do it, so as things change, like a pandemic, it didn’t change what I’m trying to do in student ministry. My strategy is still to accomplish said things. Now it’s just, I’m gonna have to do those in a different way. I saw some youth ministries fall apart when the pandemic hit because they had no idea what they were gonna do if they couldn’t go to camp and if they couldn’t do whatever. They didn’t know what else to do with student ministry and I’ll tell you, when I started student ministry a long time ago, I would have been in the same boat because my view of student ministry was man, what are we gonna do without these events? What are we gonna do, we ain’t gonna be able to have a ministry? I don’t know what to do as a student pastor if I’m not having events. But what I’ve noticed is when you do have a strategy, like you were talking about, even for the outside of the box things, it was really cool you said that because I had a guy, we were talking about that and he said man, I really love to think outside of the box and I said yeah. Well, when you get a strategy, you can think outside the box, ’cause then you can know what outside the box is. I said for you right now everything is just the box, or maybe no box, you have no idea because you don’t know the strategy. But, you know, it moves us to carry out functions of the church and I like Josh, I like what you were saying about your overall church mission statement, ’cause I find sometimes, you know, if you’re not careful, my temptation earlier on in ministry was to function as a church in a church. And that got, that wasn’t healthy for my youth ministry, ’cause I wasn’t, I was not helping students to see how you move from one area and grow in your faith and I was contributing to why students were leaving the church because I wasn’t doing a very good job of plugging them into the church. What I was doing is I was helping them out the door because once we left youth ministry, they didn’t see where they fit anywhere else in the church. So, I ran a church in a church that didn’t plug into the overall church purpose and then I was helping them out the door because there was no way church at large can do what we can do in student ministry. You don’t have the canoe trips going on in different areas. You don’t have the, you know, play in the mud volleyball happening and if they’re looking for that, they’re not gonna find it, but what I found is I can help them look for the things like, how, where do you move when you leave student choir? Well, you move to the adult choir and you keep using your gifts God has given you to minister in each different way and things like that. And I’ll tell you, that strategy thing, it’s been so helpful to even help me with the organic ministry because what it has allowed me to do is I know I wanna do discipleship. So now what I do is, Terrence, man my goal now is to maybe not plan every discipleship opportunity, but then ask my student leaders to go how can you help these students in the area of discipleship or missions or things like that. So now missions takes on this whole new organic role because it’s not just the planned mission trip once a year. Somebody’ll call a student on the phone and go hey, we gotta go help somebody move a chair, do you wanna come help me? Well, that’s missions. That’s local missions, you know. Or hey, we’re gonna get the opportunity to share the gospel over here at this place, you wanna go with me? Yeah, I’ll go with you, you know. So, it wasn’t on the calendar. I have a youth person that’ll call me and go is it okay if I take some students over here. I’m like, please take students somewhere and share the gospel, you know. So it’s not a planned event on the calendar, but like you said it’s very organic, because we’re constantly thinking about how can I pull this strategy off. How can I disciple students? How can I teach them to evangelize? How can I help them with fellowship? How can I help all these things. And I’ll tell you it’s been very helpful to us as far as we know what we wanna try to do, but then it frees us to try different things to accomplish those goals. And those goals like you said, we just see are in the Bible. We don’t, trying to keep it the simpler the better has been the most awesome thing. I’ll tell you, that’s another thing pandemic has done for worship and everything. Boy, it’s simplified it, hadn’t it? We can’t have all those things if we’re trying to meet inside of a building that, or outside or anything like that. So, it’s been very good, but I’ve enjoyed that part of it. It has freed us, the strategy has given us freedom if that makes sense. I don’t feel like it’s necessarily trapped us as much as its given us freedom to accomplish goals that Christ has set before us.

Terrance Andrews

Yeah, let me clarify something. Strategies don’t confine you. I wanna make sure. I was just making some things apparent about my approach to ministry. I like the word strategy. It is a strategy, but we gotta make sure that our strategies allows for that flexibility. Ooh, who’s that pretty guy with you Jeremy? Sorry, ADD, squirrel.

Jeremy Montgomery

This is a guy that works with us at the church.

Clint Bryant

Hey, I’ll say, too, to this, we’re talking strategy, but I think we might be interchanging words. Vision is super important and that’s our target in student ministry and ours, it took us a little bit of time to come up with it because words are super important, at least to me. And our vision at Taylor Road student ministry lines up with our church vision and our vision is to develop and send out students who passionately love Jesus and boldly proclaim the gospel. So that’s our target, that’s what we’re shooting for. Strategy is how do we get there. And obviously in all of our context, strategy is going to be different and strategy for us has been trial and error over the last couple of years. We’ve changed up Wednesday nights, we’ve changed up Sunday School. We’ve done different events. We’ve done all these different strategies with the sole focus in mind of develop and send out students who passionately love Jesus, boldly proclaim the gospel. And you know, that’s always something that we’re refining and as you get a new batch of students in, they may respond well, you may need to use a different strategy with your sixth graders than you do with your 12 graders. But all with that same vision in mind and I know for me, over the last couple of months, I’ve had this quote from David Platt in my office for almost two years now from the book “Radical,” and just paraphrasing. He asked the question, you know, what if we take away the comfy chairs, the air conditioning, the screens, if we take away the set designs and all this stuff, is the gospel enough, is God’s word enough? And that’s kind of what I’ve adopted with Zoom lately because Zoom games don’t work. I don’t know who’s out there having success with Zoom games, but I can’t find one that works. And so it has, for us, it has become let’s focus on the gospel that’s on the word, let’s focus on our developers who are leading D groups, staying connected with their students and just, you know stripping everything back and saying we’re gonna base this on the word, we’re gonna base this on the gospel and while it’s unfortunate that we see some students fade away because they were here for the entertainment, for the games, we’ve seen a whole lot more students become stronger and more powerful in their faith and more passionate about Jesus and so, you know, while that should be a simple strategy, let’s just base everything on the word that it’s taken this two months of Zoom for me to say okay, that’s it. It wasn’t the games, it wasn’t the entertainment, it wasn’t the screens, that’s it and that’s what we need to be focusing on as we go forward to accomplish that vision of developing sending out students.

Jeremy Montgomery

Hey, Clint, if I can add something to that. I’ve also noticed that having that strategy and I thank you for the clarification on the vision and stuff, man. Having a vision, then having the strategy to accomplish the vision, it’s helped me be able to say no to some things. Because I can say, well, here’s our vision for student ministry, here’s our strategy. I don’t know how that fits and I don’t think it does. And so that’s a great idea. It just doesn’t fit our vision or strategy and so that helps me unclutter my calendar a little bit ’cause now I’m not having, well, it’s not personal. You know, when people present an idea, sometimes when you don’t act on their idea, they take it personally. I’ve experienced that, maybe y’all haven’t, but and so this is a way for me to say no, that’s a great idea, but it just doesn’t fit our vision or strategy, so we’re not gonna be able to do it.

Clint Bryant

Yeah, well that vision, it definitely helps to say no. But then we’ve found that it definitely helps when you need someone to say yes. Like when you wanna make some radical change and you want to go to D groups instead of Sunday School, but you’ve sold that vision and people are believing that vision, it makes it so much easier.

Scooter Kellum

I was just gonna say I think, you know, I always look at vision. I’m glad you said that, too, because I love, there’s a mission statement, there’s a vision and there’s a strategy to a proper vision. And so, you know, you gotta have vision to see where you want to go and then the strategy is how to get there. And so, but I think that we don’t have, a lot of our churches don’t have any of that in youth ministry and so, and I would even say, you know, for you Clint and talking about how Daniel came in with a vision for that church and he made it clear and he’s done a really good job at getting people to buy into that. But I think that one of the key things there is I wonder how many youth pastors if you ask them what the pastor’s vision for the church is, one, would they have one? Two, would they know it if their pastor did have a vision for their church. And so it’s hard to live under that if you don’t know it. You know, and so, you know, I look around at these guys and all of you on this call and I would assume most of you know the vision of your pastor. But I wonder how many people out there right now in our 3,200 Alabama Baptist churches and then beyond that don’t know the vision of their church much less have a vision which means it’s hard to have a strategy to accomplish that vision for their youth ministry.

Jeremy Montgomery

Scooter, I have a question. I know you visit with these guys a lot more than I do. I’ve often wondered, you know, I’ve been fortunate to have great relationships with the pastors that I’ve served with and so that has afforded me to be able to go in and sit down with my pastor and say, you know, and I’ve been through a couple of pastor transitions here at Dolphin Way. I have been here 12 years and so I’ve served with three different lead pastors and each time I took it as a responsibility to go and say hey, tell me your vision. Help me understand. Even if we’re not gonna put it on paper, map it out, have steps to it and that. Tell me what your vision is. How do you see what do you want to accomplish? What are some goals that you have. I wonder is that as easily done as I think it is. You know, like I said, I’ve been blessed, four out of four, man. I’ve been able to have that conversation and it be that smooth and it worked well. Even if it wasn’t on paper. I’ll be honest with you. I think this was probably the first pastor that I’ve served with now that we’ve actually put it to paper. Where the other three, it wasn’t on paper. But we clearly communicated it. I wonder how with other student pastors, are they able to have those conversations, have they thought about having those conversations with their pastor, like a sit down. Say, hey, pastor, I know got me on staff. You want me to be more than a youth babysitter and take the kids to camp during the summer, right? ‘Cause you know, church finds a value in this position. What do you wanna see? Or would you work with me and let’s develop something. I wonder if that takes place of is that something that maybe it doesn’t, I don’t know. I’m asking you man. I’d love to hear your comments on that.

Scooter Kellum

Well, I don’t know that it happens. I don’t know that it’s, I think when a youth pastor is brought in, they don’t want it to be separated from the church. They don’t want the silent ministry, but at the same time, it’s like okay, you deal with teenagers. And so I don’t think that, you gotta think, we are a convention of Alabama Baptist churches that are not very big or large and so majority of our churches are smaller churches, which means they don’t have very many staff members and so, I would say that a large majority of our, they don’t have those real conversations. I remember my first church that I was at in Alabama. If I hadn’t gone to my pastor and said, hey, I want staff meeting, we weren’t really gonna have one. As long as I was doing ministry, we were good. As long as he didn’t have any parents calling him going hey, Scooter’s doing this and doing that, then we were good. And so, I don’t think that’s happening Jeremy. I think that unfortunately a lot of youth pastors don’t know they need a vision and I think a lot of pastors don’t always communicate the vision. I think they have one, but I also think that we’ve got a lot of pastors that are tired of going and casting a vision and getting told no, we can’t do it that way, and so then therefore, it’s like okay, we’ll just preach, we’ll do what we gotta do here and we’ll keep to the traditions of this church that I’m at that God’s called me to lead, but I really can’t lead him to my vision that God’s given me, I’ve gotta lead them in the way that they want me to lead them. And so when they’re frustrated and tired with that, then what happens is they don’t relay anything to the youth pastor or to the staff because they don’t really get to live out their vision. And so I think there’s a lot of dynamics to this that I don’t have all the answers to, but I do think that there’s a lot more people not having the conversation, than are having the conversation. And I think that that’s sadly, I think it’s sadly affecting our churches, because we’re not, I think it’s oftentimes what we’re doing is instead of looking forward to what God wants to do with our churches, we’re looking at what we’ve always done behind us in the rear view mirror and that’s what we’re trying to, we’re doing that. And so we’re seeing what’s behind us more than what could be in front of us. And so, it’s common for me to go into a group of youth pastors in a training or anything like that and say hey, how many of you know the vision of your church of the mission of your church, and most of them can quote the mission ’cause you can pick any of about five scriptures and that’ll be the vision or the mission of the church, right? But for the most part, when it comes to the true vision of what’s going on, I don’t think that that’s, that’s a lot of the conversation. The struggle with that, though Jeremy that I wanna throw this into, I know we’re all on staff and things like that in youth ministry, but the struggle with that is if your staff doesn’t know your vision, then that means more than likely your church, the body of believers doesn’t know your vision and if that’s the case, then how are you ever gonna accomplish it?

Jeremy Montgomery

Yeah. I’m sorry, Terrence. I’m gonna tell you, I was blessed to have, when I first started youth ministry a mentor that I gotta tell you when I came into youth ministry, my focus was on business administration and graduating and getting a job in that area, so youth ministry was not what I thought I’d be doing full time in my life. When I surrounded to the ministry and then was on staff at a local church, I didn’t know what I was doing. I was willing to admit that. I said look, I went to school four years to be a business administrator, not a youth pastor. And so, I found someone who had been doing it a while and said hey, man, I gotta help me. Now thankfully he was on staff and he was able to help me, but we were from a smaller church than what fits the norm of most churches. But what I had, too, I’ll tell you, there were several youth pastors in the area and this was in Mississippi that reached out to me that said hey, we’re available if, you know, we don’t mind sitting down with you and showing you ministry and talking through you with it and letting you see some key pointers of it and things like that and I know that’s something you strive to do is connect, because I’ve been a part of that. I think it’s a great idea, strive to connect youth pastors with out youth pastors that might could mentor or at least, you know, help them hit the ground running. And I’ll tell you, that was so valuable to me in the beginning stages of youth ministry because my idea of youth ministry was only what I ever saw on the outside looking in. So all I ever saw was the games, the trips, the fun stuff. I didn’t see the intentionality and the purpose behind anything going into it. Then when I get into it, I just carried on with what I thought youth ministry was supposed to be and I just tried to do the next biggest and better, you know, best thing. Well, he went here, we’re gonna go here. You know, he only did a one-day rafting trip, we’re gonna spend three days doing it. You know, things like that and then I started to find out about like Denise said leadership, what? I’m supposed to train them to do what and then discipleship and wait a minute. You want me to help them transition and continue in the church, what? And I had to figure out how to do all that. Man, I was so grateful for guys that had been there doing it a long time before me that said hey, we’re parent you if you’re willing and man, I was a sponge at that point, soaking it up and then like you said, I served at a church there that the vision was not communicated very clearly and so what I found is once I talked with my pastor, I was able to start, Clint said it best, man, great comment earlier, too, you’re all about the strategy and vision comment stuff, but when you said about when you’re trying to do things. And you gotta make big decisions and things like that. I took, we had to do a little culture change with our vision. We had to each people what our vision was and then once they understood it, then when we made moves, they got it, too. You know, but you’re right, man, I did experience that and not a lot of pastors early on knew what their vision was and so they couldn’t communicate it to you and then you’re stuck in limbo going well, now what do I do. And I did find, though communicating with my pastor, sometimes he would take our stuff and adapt it to the church at large, which was helpful because then me and him communicated a lot and it kind of helped in that way. ‘Cause that just wasn’t his strength, you know. Not that he didn’t want to do it, it wasn’t his strength. And so, but mentorship played a big role in me being able to pull off some of those things, like you just said, man, if I hadn’t had those mentors, man, I’d have been in trouble.

Terrance Andrews

I don’t wanna dominate conversation at all, but we’ve got into this strategy and vision and I just wanna talk practical things and I just wanna share not so that you can go and duplicate it or anybody else can go that’s what we need to do, but I just wanna share practically what God has led us to do and Scooter talked about siloed ministry, we’ve talked about vision of the overall church, we’ve talked about being together as a body of believers in one mission, one goal, one vision, one strategy. Man, we found ourselves with a student name, student ministry name and I’m not talking about anybody here or that will view this later, maybe you’ve got a name for your student ministry. We had a name and our name was fantastic and it had a great meaning and it had a great reason and a purpose, but as we all kind of know, that builds that silo wall just that much more because what we’ve seen is that your students belong to a ministry, a church inside of a church, right? That has a completely different name. We are the wildlife. That’s our label. That goes on every shirt, that goes on everything we do. Our Instagram, our everything. Oh, it’s marketed fantastically. This unique opportunity has given us way to scrub that from our student ministry and it’s for a reason because we have developed that church vision or we call it, we choose to call it the starting point. You know, as a church, we have that statement that we as a people will be. So, it begins that way and we have to go across the board. We can’t just put in the wildlife where it says West Meade Baptist Church, we want to conform to the body of Christ as being one group of believers, one community of believers, so it’s helped bring change and just, I know it seems small, but in the end game, it’s gonna be big because no longer will they self-identify as a church within inside of a church with a different label, with a different purpose possibly, with a different name. So, I just wanted to offer that, just practical, this is what’s happened in my ministry here locally.

Scooter Kellum

Jamie, you got any wisdom for us?

Jamie Baldwin

No, what I was sitting here thinking, the whole thing is, and this will have to be another meeting, another time, ’cause I would love to hear you guys ’cause we’ve not talked about this yet, but Bible study. What are we going to do with Bible study, the old thing we call Sunday School? What is this gonna look like? I believe all of this is causing us to reexamine small group Bible study and guys listen, to me, I am totally convinced, now I’m the old man, I know, I am totally convinced you, meaning student ministers are going to lead the way, now listen to me, are going to lead the way of our churches for the next 50 years. I’m totally convinced because y’all are going to set a path for Sunday School, for Bible study. You will explore things and examine things that adults will not do. So, I would love to have a discussion to hear from you, what are we gonna do out there down the road ’cause it’s not tomorrow, I know. But what are we gonna do with this thing called Sunday School or small group Bible study? Yeah, is that part, that’s gotta fit in the strategy somewhere, but where and how, and that’s totally jumping subject, I realize that, okay? But for another day, another time, I’d like to talk about that. Yeah, everybody blew up their Sunday School, I know. Anybody wanna tackle?

Terrance Andrews

Well, hey, let me, I don’t wanna dominate, but literally Thursday evening, we had a special gathering as an entire church outside of the children’s ministry area, but this was adults, college and students. And we actually did a survey with our Sunday School leaders and we asked them questions like when do you wanna meet again? If so, what’s the earliest, what’s the latest? How are your connections going? How have you been connecting? And, of course, the consensus across the board is now the connection of Zoom and Meet and all the other things have worn off, where do we find ourself in that Sunday School, Jamie? And what does that look like? We have not determined an answer. And I think, I think we all will take a close look at how that operates, especially when we get to meet back in person, but in the meanwhile, in the waiting, what does that look like? How do we equip our people? Do we just keep on sending them leadership books that we’re spending $20,000 a year on? What is that benefiting? Is that a necessity? Where does that go? Is that money spent better off here or there? So there’s so many questions about that that I haven’t had the answers to, but we all know the Lord is faithful and he will guide and direct us in the ministry, but if any of you have great, man, we probed them like I said, but it left us still with the empty spot of going okay. 50 percent wanna meet, the other 50 percent no way. All of them are out on Zoom pretty much, so what do you do?

Trent Nolen

I think, the whole conversation for me, at least where I am with everything with vision and strategy and implementing that from a church, large scale down to what is Sunday School Bible study look like and we’ve surveyed our people and pretty much the exact same thing Terrence. Half yes, half no, but everybody’s done. They wanna see one another. I think all that reinforces to me something that Scooter’s spent a lot of time drilling into me in the time that I’ve known him and many of you guys have helped pour into me as well is that we’re called by God to be leaders and at some point in time the rubber has to meet the road and I know that’s been the hardest thing for me is not just making those decisions, but kind of like Denise said, coming up with a leadership team around me and helping guide them in figuring those things out so that they can help implement, but also just taking God’s wisdom with where our people’s hearts are and stepping out in boldness because I mean, I’m in a little bit of a smaller church, in an area where there’s a lot of tradition, a lot of just, you know, churches feel good, churches come slap people’s backs, hug people’s necks and we’re good to go till next week. And so as a staff here, we’ve really prayed through and thought through and I encourage you pastors that have been out there watching this and something’s clicked. They said man I’m missing that or I need that, how do I do that? I encourage you first to pray and then second trust the vision, the heart, the passion that God’s given you and then step out and find people that will walk that path with you. Not everyone will. Not everyone’s gonna be on board. There are gonna be people that are gonna not like it, there are gonna be people that’ll speak up against it, but I think you’ve gotta find the people that will walk it with you and once you have those people in place, then you begin to walk it with great care, with great love and great compassion. And when you do that, I know I’ve seen in my ministry that things don’t happen fast. It’ll change fast, but slow creates sustainability when it comes to change. And so it’s not as tumultuous. The things that I have done overnight have created a lot of problems, but the things that I have gotten support in and people that have walked those paths with me, as we’ve made those changes, they’ve gone over a lot better. They’ve been more received well, so.

Clint Bryant

Well, I’ll say to this and I’ll try and keep it short ’cause I know we’re running long on time, but I began last fall, I was sitting in Sunday School listening to one of our teachers teach our high school guys and just, I don’t know if you guys have ever had the opportunity just to sit there and look at your students while they’re being taught by someone else, but I was looking at them and out of 14 of them, there were three that were engaged and the others were just checked out and so God began putting that vision in my heart then that we need to do something different with Sunday School and last November, we decided to make a change, to go to a D group model on Sunday mornings, rather than traditional Sunday School and I spent three months recruiting developers, which is what we call our student volunteers here, our adult leaders, recruiting developers, training them, lining up the students with the right developer to make it work and in January, we switched to a D group model, so on Sunday mornings, our students come in and then they break out into groups of no more than five and it’s the same group every week with the same developer and that developer spends time with them in confession, in prayer, accountability, Bible study, making sure that their spiritual disciplines are getting better. Everything that we think of when we think of a D group. And, you know, this was before the pandemic hit and wonderfully enough it has continued to work for us on Sunday mornings. Because of Zoom, we can hop on Zoom. I do a quick master teacher style where I teach a 15-minute lesson, which for us, we’ve gone through the entire book of James to maintain that continuity on Sundays and Wednesday nights. And then we use the breakout room feature in Zoom to send them to their D groups and so they continue their D groups. Our developers check on them through the week and make sure that no students are falling through the cracks, ’cause that’s one thing I was struggling with, too, was Sunday School. It doesn’t matter, I don’t think it really matters your context, whether you have 10 students or 100. Sometimes students fall through the cracks and so by having D groups and some amazing developers come along, they’re able to keep track of their five better than I can keep track of my 70 and so, you know that is something that we’ve found in our strategy has really worked and we need to invest even more into in this time and, you know, Jamie, thank you for bringing that up, ’cause Sunday School is one of those traditional things that sometimes in a church it’s like the holy cow, you don’t touch it, you don’t mess with that. But because of our vision, because we’ve communicated our vision very well, when we decided to transition to this D group model, rather than traditional Sunday School, we had everybody on board, they’re like yes, do it. That’s what needs to happen for you to develop my student and so, you know, that’s what has worked for us and has been reinforced during this pandemic.

Jamie Baldwin

Well, I think that’s the thing. This has forced us to relook at Sunday School in a way that we never would and so we got to, as the church today, we got to relook at Sunday School and regardless what you call it, small group, Bible study, reexamine, reinvent it and I am totally convinced that youth ministers, you guys and gals, y’all will set the pace because you’re willing to change. You’re willing to be flexible. Many of us adults are not willing, but y’all live in a changing world. And so y’all are going to lead out, like I said, I am totally convinced youth ministers in the next 12 to 24 months are going to change the church as we know it and prayerfully for the good.

Terrance Andrews

Hey, can I ask a question Clint?

How did you determine the five? Did you base it off grade? Did you base it off friend groups? Did you base it off of age? Did you base it off of I’m sure gender was involved, but how did you determine that? I mean, if you can, just unpack that just a little bit because I think a lot of times that’s where we tend to have the most problematic problems.

Clint Bryant

Yes to all the above. One of the biggest things that went in and we took a lot of time. We didn’t just do a lottery or a draft. Sometimes we’ll do a draft for camp and just assign family groups. But some of it went into, as I recruited some developers and training them, some of them already had relationships with our students and so it just naturally made sense for them to take that. Our ideal scenario, our ideal group meant that there was no more than three grades gap in any student, so we didn’t have a seventh grader with a 12 grader or a sixth grader with an 11th grade, so they were all generally in the same life phase and so we took a lot of things into consideration and we met several times and looked at personalities, what personalities work well together. We didn’t wanna put five people together that are quiet all the time and likewise five people that are very outgoing characters and so we’ve, it took some time, but we took everything into consideration. And you know your students. You know your developers. You know the ones that you’re asking to lead the group. Match up personalities. Match up like interests. All those things are in play. And I know that’s probably not a great answer, but that’s what we did. It was personalities and grades and ages and everything came together to form these great groups. And, you know, every group whether they know each other or not, goes through the four stages. They go through the forming, the storming, the norming and performing stages and I think we were just getting into the norming stage when this all happened and so we haven’t quite got to the preforming stage yet, so hopefully we’ll get there soon.

Terrance Andrews

I did something very similar with our D Now host homes that looked very radical and did have a lot of opposition on the front side, but on the backside, it paid huge dividends spiritually and as far as I can tell, there were no negatives. I did the same as far as blending age groups based on grade, no more than three years apart, but I intentionally put people. It took a long time to do host homes. You know when we think about host homes, I was closed in the conference room with the whiteboard for probably 12 to 14 hours trying to formulate host homes. This is one weekend. So, I appreciate that Clint. I know the hard work that it takes to form groups of five people that will be poured into by an adult leader.

Jeremy Montgomery

Hey, Jamie, you were talking about Sunday School and ministry and these guys are talking to that. You know, I don’t think that anybody has ever questioned what’s the purpose of Sunday School and then I think I have the privilege to be able to work with older, I also do adult Sunday School and youth Sunday school and I’ll tell you, it’s just trying to determine, it’s funny talking to different generations about what they think Sunday School is. It sounds like Clint’s using it more as a deep discipleship model, where some people would tell me the purpose of Sunday School is outreach and evangelism. But then your class, the way you do Sunday School then doesn’t match that function. It’s not matching what you’re saying the purpose is, so your options are either to change the way you’re doing Sunday School to match the function or then you’re gonna say well, Sunday School’s got a different function and I’ll tell you what I noticed is that students that are getting up at 9 o’clock and coming to church are usually not, on Sunday, they’re not my visitors, they’re my regulars. And so we shifted the Sunday School hour to be discipleship because we said we’re not getting a ton of visitors, but I would have a little pushback, people will go well, no, we’re used to Sunday School’s for evangelism and outreach and I go well, I’m not seeing that many people visiting at 9 o’clock in the morning student wise. I get those on Wednesday night. That’s where I do that part of my ministry and in some of our fellowship. I’ve got other places for evangelism as far as if I were having an outreach event, I should say, I want to clarify that. We’re constantly wanted people to come to the gospel, you know what I mean, but I found, we had to just say Sunday School’s not achieving the purpose. We’re not seeing all these visitors come in, we’re not seeing all this stuff, so then let’s position Sunday School now to be more of a discipleship tool, because look at who we have. And man, when we did that, Sunday School became more, it became more valuable to our vision and focus, mission statement and strategy than when we just did Sunday School because well, we can’t touch it, let’s work around it. Let’s, okay, it’s this, but it didn’t fit in our plan anywhere, so let’s just okay, we have to do it because everybody else is doing it, but let’s go on. Well, when we brought Sunday School into our strategy and then we said this is the purpose for it in our area, well then it’s become something that has grown a little bit for us and it has a great purpose now. And we find value in it. Where before, Sunday School, I will tell you, you talk to younger folks sometimes in generations, they don’t see the value in it. Because they have five Bible studies they’re attending already. They’re attending their men’s group, women’s group, D group, pick a group. You know they’re already in those, but what does Sunday School do. It’s one more Bible study that I’m meeting for when we’re walking through Romans or something. Well, I already do that on Tuesday nights with this group or that group, so we had to, well, yeah, how is it different? How is Sunday School different from everything else we’re doing? And when we reshaped it and redefined it, man, it just, it put some fresh air into it and so we were able to just look at it in our mission strategy and focus and go okay, this is what it’s gonna do for us now and it helped a lot.

Denise Andrews

Clint, if I can ask you a quick question. Did you like, if you do a cooperative learning group, you’ll have a really strong student and a really weak student and things like that. What did you do as far as spiritual maturity? Did you group them accordingly or kind of strong, weak?

Clint Bryant

No, cause we knew that this, we didn’t take spiritual maturity into account because some of them were grown in church, some not, some are just playing the game and so we use that discipleship time to get everybody to the same level and obviously when some are going to be more involved than others, but then you get the, I wanna say spiritually immature ones to see the more spiritually immature ones and say okay, it’s not just an adult that is telling me I need to read my Bible and pray, but I’m seeing my peer do it and I see that it’s not boring, it’s not mundane and so I want to be like them. And so it was, it is good to see spiritually immature with spiritually mature peers, but we didn’t sit down and go all right, who’s the most spiritually mature here. Let’s put them in this group.

Scooter Kellum

Hey, Clint, while you’re, you can stay unmuted, I think we’ve got several questions for you, but one that was asked in our chat that I wanna make sure that gets out there because I think you answered it wise and it’s a great question is what do you do when you have visitors with or without friends in this setting of developers and things like that.

Clint Bryant

Yeah, obviously that’s, you know, our developers are great at being in the room early because we have the developer meeting every Sunday morning at 8:30, all of our D group leaders, we come together. We talk about the lesson, we pray over it together and so our developers are there on time and in the room early to receive visitors and receive their students. And so if we get visitors, if they’re coming with friends, well, obviously we’ll put them in the group with their friends, so that they feel comfortable. Since they visited with their friend, you don’t want to split them up, but you know, you get those visiting families, so we’ll spend some extra time with them or a developer that meets them will spend some extra time with them, maybe get to know what they like, they’re personality, something like that and then we can match them up with the developer that we think will fit them the best and you know, obviously when you’re recruiting, you know D Group leaders, you want them to be spiritually mature, well-trained outgoing people and so. We just try and match up personalities and interests and stuff like that so they’ll automatically kind of feel some kind of connection with that D group leader.

Scooter Kellum

One of the things that I’m kind of trying to go a little bit full circle here as we kind of wrap up our time together, but you talk about the new normal. We’ve talked about all the COVID-19 stuff. We’ve talked about kind of the organic and authentic ministry that we’ve gotta do and if we go back to Jesus, Jesus didn’t have social media, he didn’t have Zoom, he didn’t have a phone. He didn’t have anything like that, what he had was a personal relationship with people, right, and in church, one of the things, I can worship God anywhere and I do, but one of the things that I miss about going to church is not the building, it is the church because I miss the relationships and the corporate worship together. And so one of the things that we found out throughout this COVID-19 process and the new normal and all these things is that relationships are vitally important. And in talking about this, for you Clint, and the reason I’m saying this is going full circle is everything that you just talked about, whether it’s recruiting developers, whether it’s putting people in place, whether it’s a visitor without a friend, who’s not there, all of that requires time and relationship. You have to know the people in your church beyond, because you’re not just gonna go recruit or talk to people randomly, you’re gonna find people that are people that you know, that you have built a relationship with and you know their interests, you know their likes, you know their strengths, their weaknesses, you know those things, same with your students. You’ve gotta know them in order to put the in the right place to be discipled most effectively and then on the flip side of that even more, you now if you’re spending extra time and building, maybe not an in depth relationship, but you’re spending time building a relationship with someone so you can know where to put them as they come and visit your church and so I think for all of us, that is something that we cannot forget. Most of all is that we are, we have salvation in our lives because of the relationship that we have with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We’re trying to disciple students the same way and as we do that, we’ve gotta make sure that we’re spending the time to build relationships with them and for those who might not have a relationship with Jesus, we get to point them into that relationship, so it’s really cool. But all that being said, I wanna say thank you to all of you for coming and for talking. Youth ministry, I always like to say talk shop, but for being a part of this today. Here’s what I want to tell you, I got everybody to introduce, I know a couple had to go to staff meetings. We’re thankful for pastors that are leading and doing staff meetings and so a few that you’ve seen on this video that have stepped away were because of that, but I get everybody to introduce themselves ’cause I want you to know where they’re at and the churches they serve at. So, for instance if you’re interested, if you’re watching this video and you’re interested in what Clint’s doing with his D groups for Sunday School hour, well, you can find him at Taylor Road’s website. Or if there’s somebody on here you go, well, Scooter, I remember his name’s Jeremy Jones, but I don’t remember exactly where he said he was from or whatever. Well, one, you could look at the video and watch it, but if you’re needing some assistance or resourcing or wanting answers for things like that, feel free to give me an email, you can send me an email at skellum, that’s S-K-E-L-L-L, I’m sorry, let me restart that, S-K-E-L-L-U-M @alsbom.org. Sorry, I got braces and it’s hard to talk with them, I’m learning. But you can email me or give me a call, 334-32, I’m sorry, 334-613-2280. I’m a get it right. So email me or call me and we will be able to send you their information to get in contact with any of them. We would love to help you in any way that we can. Thank you all for coming and sharing all the things that you’re doing and all the wisdom that you’ve got and then and then at the end, I do wanna say thank you for watching and I hope this has been helpful for you and Jeremy, what question, Jeremy’s telling me he’s got a question before we leave, so, go ahead Jeremy. Jeremy Jones?

Clint Bryant

No, I was gonna ask Jeremy a question.

Scooter Kellum

Oh, okay, I’m sorry Clint. I saw Jeremy Jones, go ahead Clint.

Clint Bryant

Well, the thing is maybe like an hour ago, when we were talking, I wanted to get back to this, you know, we talked a lot about mission and strategy and all this crazy stuff and Sunday Schools and I know this was meant for, but Jeremy you had mentioned that you guys are starting like a social distancing worship service at Crossroad, right for your students and, you know, we’d love to do the same thing because Zoom fatigue is real. Man, our students our, our students are done. And maybe a few other guys are looking at or have already started an in-person youth gathering. How’s it working? What are you putting in place? I mean how are you doing that?

Jeremy Jones

For us, and it’s church wide, really, we have a great facility God has blessed us with outside. It’s got a lot of trees, it’s got a lot of area. And so like this Sunday we had worship together out on the North Ridge, so church wide and so Sunday night, Chelsea Kellum, she actually had a children’s event on the North Ridge and just hanging out and that’s what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna create it. Outdoors seems to create an opportunity for social distancing ’cause the building kind of confines you. And so we found just even, I was looking at it Sunday, we had room for least another 100, 150 people just because of the way it was, you know, the spacing is easier. You know, you’re not confined by pews or chairs or anything like that. But yeah, we were just kind of challenging them to say social distance, but the outside is where we’re focusing and the unique.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Uncategorized

Gen Z and the Changing Times

Generation Z is a generation like we have never seen before. Their lives are marked by the digital age that they have grown up in. Gen Z, those born from

Uncategorized

The “Nones” Impact on Student Ministry

Recent studies and polls show a steadily increasing trend when it comes to religious identification: The rise of the “nones.” Nones are people who don’t identify with any religious group.