What I learned about Youth Ministry during the County 4H fair
We spent a week and two days, prepping for, participating in and cleaning up the County 4H Fair. in a nut shell, we spent a day setting up supplies, a day cleaning up supplies and a week taking care of animals, submitting projects and enjoying the fair.
I took some time to reach out and connect with a variety of students and learned a few lessons in the process, here you go:
1. Diversity… the fair has rich to poor, young and old, clean and dirty, cheer leaders and farmers, sports people and hunters, arctic types and active nature lovers.. it is diverse..
a. How diverse is your ministry? Do you cater to only one crowd? How do you bridge the eco-social-physcial rivers you come into contact within your community?
2. Team work.. It takes a team of people to pull off a show, fair, judging contest etc..
a. What criteria do you use to make up your team? Are you continually looking for team members? Do you have an org chart? (PS>. check out an app called ORG CHART on iTunes)
3. Visibility–Be seen… The key people (leaders) in 4H have colored coded shirts. The shirts also have a title on them.. for example: Specie chair, or Fair Board member…
a. How do your guest, new students and families know who you are or other key people in your ministry… (student leaders, small group leaders, welcome people etc..)
4. Support others… The 4H Fair families for the most part will help one another out… they look for opportunities to serve
a. What do you have built into you ministry that offers members to serve, youth to support others, and be challenged to go beyond the average and give time, talent and finances to something bigger than ME?
5. Award the effort… Kids submit projects or show animals and win (awarded) ribbons, trophies or plaques based on criteria and judging.
a. How are you celebrating individuals in your ministry? The parent who teaches the bible to their family, the student who serves without being asked, the leader who is at everything no matter what. They need praise and encouragement.
6. Give feedback. Judging happens in the ring or a a table.. The judge will give feedback to the student on their project. That feedback begins with some positive words, some corrective advice and ends with a positive note and Award.
a. How are you providing feedback to your audience and or team? it is important if you plan to improve your ministry.
I am sure I missed some lessons but know I will be back next year for another round of county fair.. I also know I will be continually challenged to apply these lessons to my own life and minsitry.