S. A. L. T. Student Action Leadership Team Info Packet THE PRIORITY OF MINISTRY TRAINING “The step of Ministry Training is critical to the expansion of any movement. At this point most organizations (and may I add youth groups) reach their peak. If they do not train believers other than the pastor to do the ministry, their expansion stops … No matter how dynamic the leader … expansion will not continue if people are not trained to minister.” CARL WILSON What do we mean when we say “minister?” The Christian life involves more than coming to church on Sunday, staying out of trouble and “letting our little light shine.” God expects us to use our lives to make a spiritual difference in the lives of those with whom we make contact. This will serve as our definition of “ministry” as we now explain the purpose of our Ministry team and the training that will take place for those involved on it. The Lord desires to use each of our lives for His glory and purposes, that is why He saved us and pours forth His blessings upon us daily. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10) The Lord knew that we would need someone to help us to accomplish all that He has planned for us that is why He gave leaders to the church. “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, to the building up of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12, 14-15b) Because the Christian life is a process much like physical growth, not every Christian is to the point yet where they are ready or interested in being trained to do the “work of the ministry.” Therefore, it is very important that each Christian evaluates his own life and determines where he is currently in the spiritual growth process. To help you do this, we’ve included several tools that will enable you to understand what ministry training is, the qualities of life that are needed to effectively minister to others, and a test to evaluate your current spiritual interest level. We hope that these tools will encourage and challenge you to seek the training that you will need to accomplish the ministry that the Lord has for you and common ground. UNDERSTANDING MINISTRY TRAINING Ministry training is simply equipping others with the attitudes, knowledge and skills necessary to perform the ministry before them. In the book of 1 Thessalonians, Paul made mention of the “imparting of his life” to others. He reproduced his life in the lives of those ready and willing listeners who took the time to be trained and taught. This is what he is referring to in 2 Timothy 2:2 where he says, “And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” Following are some questions that will help you determine if you are ready to proceed into the area of ministry training: * Check those that apply to your life: Do you have a desire to share with others what God has been doing in your life? Do you have a burden to meet the needs of other people? Do you feel that you need to learn to better apply the Christian principles that you’ve learned over the years? Have you seen a need to help those believers of similar age to you get along better, pray together and build closer relationships? Would you be willing to set aside some time to receive training to accomplish the above things and to be held accountable for your spiritual development by a team of individuals? If you checked most of the above statements, then there is a good chance that you are ready for ministry training. MINISTRY TRAINING QUALITIES Because of the nature of ministry training (skills development, intensive learning, high accountability, ministering to the needs of others, planning and evaluation), a deeper level of interest and commitment is required of those who are involved. It is important to understand that we are looking for inner or heart qualities and trying to avoid outward rules, regulations and standards. From the story of Samuel and his anointing of David in 1 Samuel 16, we learn a valuable lesson. “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Often we, as Christians, use these same external standards to determine a person’s ability to “serve or minister” in the church. In addition, we sometimes add external rules and standards to determine a person’s worth, spirituality, etc. Rather than looking to externals, we want to suggest some inner qualities that are necessary in the lives of those who desire to minister to others. We are not asking or suggesting that a person be “perfect” but that a person show evidences of these qualities in their daily lifestyle. They desire to grow and to make a spiritual difference in their sphere of influence. WHO OUGHT TO BE INVOLVED IN MINISTRY TRAINING? 1. Those who no longer just want to be ministered to, but want to minister to others. 2. Those who no longer just want to be served but want to serve others. 3. Those who are others-centered and want to share in the work of the ministry. THEY EXEMPLIFY THESE QUALITIES: F – Faithful A willingness to live a consistent godly lifestyle A – Available A willingness to be open to the control of God’s Spirit. This may mean that you will need to evaluate your priorities and re-organize them so that you have the time to be trained and to minister to others. Ministry Team must be a priority! T – Teachable A willingness to learn and to be corrected when necessary T – Thankful A willingness to consistently acknowledge God as the source of all that we have and to exhibit a grateful spirit for all and to all whom God uses in my life E – Enthused A willingness to acknowledge with excitement the “God in us” to others. R – Responsive A willingness to commit ourselves to another’s leadership and to cooperate together with others to reach common goals and objectives. How many of the above qualities does your life reflect now? Which of the above qualities are the strongest in your life? Which of the above qualities do you feel that you need to work on most? A TEAM APPROACH TO MINISTRY If you are a person who desires to use his life to make a significant impact in the lives of others, then there are several things that you will need to know. First, we believe that a team approach to ministry is the most effective method in equipping the saints. There are several reasons for this: 1. It is the approach that Jesus Christ and the New Testament Church modeled. 2. It prepares a group for smoother leadership transitions. 3. It protects the group from the poor choices and mistakes of one individual. 4. It helps the group to maintain a sense of ownership, accountability and purpose. Secondly, there are two main areas in our youth group in which you can minister to others. They are Peer Care and Peer Share. We envision a team of people (students and adults) ministering to others in both of these areas so that we will fulfill God’s purpose for common ground. Specific ways that we can minister to others within these two general categories are: PEER CARE a) Creating and maintaining an atmosphere of love, acceptance and forgiveness in the ministry, while developing situations in which love can be both expressed and experienced by group members. b) Building a healthy group image and to promote that image both in and out of the group. c) Foster communication between group members, including students and staff. d) Create situations/opportunities for prayer; for both the team members and the members of common ground. e) Meet the needs – physical, social, emotional and spiritual – of the group members to the best possible degree. f) Be trained to follow-up a new believer. g) Design community building and accountability structures into the regular Ministry Team and total group programming. PEER SHARE a) Teaching students how to effectively share their faith and encourage a lifestyle of friendship evangelism by group members. b) Planning and executing outreach events. c) Building faith-stretching exercises into the ministry designed to challenge individuals to greater levels of faith. d) Building a missions mindset into the group, while providing significant opportunities for group members to be involved in evangelistic missions projects. THE TIME COMMITMENT REQUIRED BY OUR “MINISTRY TEAM” The team will meet every Tuesday night. We will meet from 7:30 to 9:30pm. We will have several Ministry Team get-a-ways; i.e. Retreats, Prayer Seminars, Overnighters, Training Sessions, etc. during the year. You will need to make a minimum commitment to attend 80% of all ministry team meetings, youth meetings, outreaches and pre-scheduled activities. It is tough to minister to others if you are not available or reliable! Your commitment to the Ministry Team will be for one year. At the end of your year commitment, you may feel free to either withdraw for a period of time or re-apply. There are some situations in which you may be asked to step off the Ministry Team for a period of time! WHAT BEHAVIOR IS EXPECTED OF A MEMBER OF OUR “MINISTRY TEAM?” That you live an authentic Christian lifestyle in private, at home, in church, in school and work. Specifically, the qualities of holiness, honesty and humility should be evidenced and practiced. While at the youth group meetings and activities, you should seek to display a maturing role of leadership as an example to those around you. You should try to help and maintain order within the group, welcome all students to each activity (especially new people), assist whoever is in charge of the various activities, if needed, and spread out during each activity (especially outreaches) so that you don’t appear as a clique. As a member of a team you are to help hold each other accountable for personal growth and completion of ministry assignments. You are expected to be contacting both common ground members and non- Christians on a regular basis of ongoing ministry. ________________________________________________________________ signature date S. A. L. T. Student Action Leadership Team Ministry Team Application Name: _____________________________ School: ______________________ Address: ____________________________________________ Grade: ______ City: ___________________________________ Phone: __________________ Email Address: ___________________________________________________ (Feel free to write your answers on a separate sheet of paper) 1. Please briefly tell about your spiritual journey. Include how and when you began your relationship with Christ, if and when you were baptized, what you are doing to grow spiritually, and how you live your faith out in your daily life. 2. How long have you consistently attended common ground? 3. What do you feel you can contribute to the youth group ministry? 4. What are your previous experiences working as a leader? 5. List other activities and how much time per week you invest in them. Include sports, clubs, committees, etc.: 6. If you have discovered your spiritual gifts, please list your top two or three: 7. List two strengths you have in leading your peers. List two weaknesses you need to work on. 8. What would you consider to be your fatal flaw? In other words, what weakness in your life do you consider could be potentially destructive if it were not under control? 9. In your own words: What are the major responsibilities and expected behavior of ministry team members? 10. Write a brief paragraph describing why you would want to be on the ministry team? 11. Are you committed to … (please check) loving God a growing, personal relationship with Jesus Christ a pure lifestyle and relationships that honor God in words and deeds consistently engaging in our local church worship opportunities personally studying God’s Word and challenging my peers to do the same living a life that is fully surrendered and obedient to Christ serving with a spirit of humility and teamwork being an example of godly character, speaking the truth in love loving others consistently caring for and praying for people in my small group sharing with and inviting seeking friends to youth group participating in every common ground meeting and weekly SALT meetings being teachable and respectful to my parents and the adult leaders in my life developing my spiritual gifts and passions to serve others going out of my way to show God’s love and acceptance of others * Are there any circumstances, addictions or patterns in your life which would make it inappropriate for you to serve as a student leader or could compromise the integrity of common ground or Grace Church? Have you read the info packet material? Are you willing to commit to these responsibilities for the time commitment? _____ yes _____ no Signature: _______________________________________________________ For Parents: Have you read the info packet material? Do you consent to your teenager working on the common ground ministry team? Are you willing to support your teenager with your prayers, encouragement and transportation? Will you be an example at home of a growing Christian disciple? _____ yes _____ no Signature: _______________________________________________________ S. A. L. T. Student Action Leadership Team Reference Sheet Reference sheets must be completed by each of the three people listed below. A high schooler within the youth group A teacher, coach, boss or other influential leader in your life One of your parents Applicant’s Name: _________________________________ Phone: _________ Your relationship to the student ______________________________________ How long have you known him/her? ___________________________________ 1. What would you say are this student’s strengths? 2. What would you say are this student’s weaknesses? 3. In what ways do you feel this student has leadership potential? 4. Do you recommend him or her? _____ with enthusiasm _____ with few reservations _____ with reservations _____ not sure they are ready for this type of challenge this year Your Name: ______________________________________________________ Thanks for your time and input. Please return this to the student in a sealed envelope. S. A. L. T. Student Action Leadership Team Reference Sheet Reference sheets must be completed by each of the three people listed below. A high schooler within the youth group A teacher, coach, boss or other influential leader in your life One of your parents Applicant’s Name: _________________________________ Phone: _________ Your relationship to the student ______________________________________ How long have you known him/her? ___________________________________ 1. What would you say are this student’s strengths? 2. What would you say are this student’s weaknesses? 3. In what ways do you feel this student has leadership potential? 4. Do you recommend him or her? _____ with enthusiasm _____ with few reservations _____ with reservations _____ not sure they are ready for this type of challenge this year Your Name: ______________________________________________________ Thanks for your time and input. Please return this to the student in a sealed envelope. S. A. L. T. Student Action Leadership Team Reference Sheet Reference sheets must be completed by each of the three people listed below. A high schooler within the youth group A teacher, coach, boss or other influential leader in your life One of your parents Applicant’s Name: _________________________________ Phone: _________ Your relationship to the student ______________________________________ How long have you known him/her? ___________________________________ 1. What would you say are this student’s strengths? 2. What would you say are this student’s weaknesses? 3. In what ways do you feel this student has leadership potential? 4. Do you recommend him or her? _____ with enthusiasm _____ with few reservations _____ with reservations _____ not sure they are ready for this type of challenge this year Your Name: ______________________________________________________ Thanks for your time and input. Please return this to the student in a sealed envelope.