(This is a part of a series: Reaching Teens in a Digital World)


“NetGeners are natural collaborators.  This is the relationship generation…They collaborate online in chat groups, play multiuser video games, use e-mail, and share files for school, work or just for fun.”

Don Tapscott, Grown Up Digital 

“Collaboration extends to other aspects of the Net Geners’ lives.  At work, they want to feel that their opinion counts.  While they acknowledge their lack of experience, they feel they have relevant insights–especially about technology and the Internet–and they want the opportunity to influence decisions and change work processes to make them more efficient.”

Don Tapscott, Grown Up Digital 


Do you collaborate in your youth ministry?  

My hope is that you do.  We need to be collaborating all the time.  This is one of the reasons why I have in the past, and why I am working towards having a student leadership team.  I pick student leaders who aren’t just token leaders, but students who have potential and character to lead, and lead well.  Apart of leading is being able to speak their mind constructively about the youth ministry.

We live in a world where teens want more that just to consume.  They want to change the world.  I think our youth ministries can be places where we freely give things over so students can collaborate, and buy in.

Here are a few ways you can help foster collaboration within your youth ministry:


Everything in my ministry is up for evaluation.  If we don’t like the way things are going we will change it.  A few years ago we were apart of a fall retreat, and the students I was leading became vocal about a few major flaws over the weekend.  The students loving seeing the results the next year when things changed.  Don’t make any sacred cows, allow the students to speak to how the youth ministry is really going.  Feel free to push back on their evaluation of events, and mid week programs.  Just don’t be defensive!


Train students to do sound, lights, manager the facebook page, the twitter account,  how to be the greeters, ect.  Pass off as much as you can.  I always try to tell the students that this is their youth ministry not mine.  I want them to be serving, I want them to be leading worship, and I would love to be in a place where they are preaching.  We need to train more students.  Training students gives them a sense of ownership.


It will take awhile to change a ministry mindset to a place that allows collaboration.  You are going to have to allow students to speaker their minds.  Your youth ministry should be the place where they are allows to collaborate and buy in.  Talk to the students you work with about what their friends would come to.  That is a great starting point.


We need our youth ministries to have student buy in.  This needs to happen more than just showing up, or being a number on your quest to a mega youth ministry.  How do you foster collaboration in your youth ministry?  

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