Jessica Greiner is the Youth and Family Ministry Director at All Saints Anglican, Peachtree City, GA. In ministry for ten years – and in the field of education for 20 – Greiner is passionate about relational ministries to children and families and will be hosting our workshop on Youth Ministry at Synod 2017.
What does it look like to both minister to youth and involve youth in ministry, in our Anglican expression of faith?
Ministering to students in a uniquely Anglican way has some characteristics that set youth ministry apart from other methods. First and foremost, the Anglican way of youth ministry is biblically rooted and intentional. We engage students in the bible and use Gospel centered teaching. When we gather for any purpose, we strive to keep it relational and authentic, never trying to compete with the entertainment of the world. Anglican youth ministry also echoes a love of liturgy, structure, and tradition, thus allowing students to learn the importance of steady rhythms throughout the church year by which they can grow and nourish their relationship with Jesus. More often than not, Anglican youth also have great exposure to multigenerational involvement, not only in their local parishes, but also across the diocese and province. Anglican youth ministry should recognize the need to balance the interests of younger people with those of older generations.
What are some of the concerns churches have in ministering to our children today?
Teaching parents that they are the primary means of cultivating Christ into the lives of their children and partnering with families to be the spiritual leaders of their homes. Like any ministry, youth work can be difficult, so we can often fall into the trap of getting a ministry element working and then leaving it on auto-pilot. On the contrary, if it is too easy it probably isn’t being done right. It can also often be challenging to stay focused on long-term development of disciples and not the short-term attraction of fancy programming.
What do you hope clergy and lay leaders will take away from this workshop about ministering to our youth?
Making youth ministry first and foremost Gospel-centered, but also relational. Gaining ideas of how we genuinely care for young people and build authentic relationships with teens and their families. To share and discuss ministry ideas within the context of an Anglican youth ministry built on love for one another, love for God, and love for our youth.
Registration is now open for Conference & Synod 2017: Mission Matters. Join us November 3-4 as we explore how local churches can be on mission in today’s world, reach out to our communities with the Gospel, worship, re-connect, learn, and discern together!
Visit the Conference & Synod 2017 site to learn more about speakers, workshops, lodging, and the weekend schedule.