What’s the VISION for The Lutheran Youth Room?
That’s a good question that leads to more questions. What do we hope to accomplish? Whom are we trying to help? Who are we to think we can?
Let me take a shot at providing some answers. The vision is simple: competence and confidence as youth leaders. That’s what we all want.
But there are problems. We feel isolated much of the time. We easily get discouraged when planning doesn’t succeed. We fear our own inadequacies will undermine our work with the youth in our congregations. At the same time, we know how important it is to connect youth to Christ and the Christian community at this special time in their lives.
The leaders of LYR understand. We know the challenges in serving teens today. So much as changed since we were teens. We want to share discoveries of how best to serve today’s young people. For this reason, LYR brings youth workers with a variety of backgrounds and experiences together with solid Lutheran theology and teen research in support of capable youth ministry.
So, here’s the plan. Create a collaborative learning and sharing community of youth leaders who will learn from the experiences of each other and gain insight as well as competence by mutual encouragement and support.
In the LYR Community, you can ask questions, post ideas, make comments, share successes, warn of mis-steps, or simply watch other youth leaders do the same. It’s a place to do whatever helps you and supports you within the LYR Community!
This is what we are asking youth leaders to do when we encounter them locally or run into them at national gatherings…
- Go to the LYR Website today! (lutheranyouthroom.org).
- Click on “Join our Facebook Community” and ask to join.
- Make your first post by sharing about yourself and your work with youth.
- Then use the LYR Website for Bible studies, games, reviews, blogs and free access to “Youth Ministry 101” (soon to be posted) as well as submit material for posting.
You are already on the website or you wouldn’t be reading this. Skip # one. And if you haven’t become part of the Facebook community, follow the rest of the numbers.
You don’t want unengaged youth, unhappy parents, an unsafe environment for youth, or least of all, young people unsure about their faith in Jesus Christ. What you do want is a supportive, experienced community that’s gaining competence in best practices of youth ministry. You want confidence as a valued member of a team ministry, developing a great youth program.
LYR isn’t a “Silver Bullet.” But it can be a path moving you from ill-equipped, inexperienced youth leader to confident member of a practicing community [or moving you along the path from experienced youth leader with much to share to fulfilled mentor serving friends!], engaged in meaningful ministry and guiding teens in their walk with Christ. I think that’s a worthy goal and a vision well-worth following.
Welcome to the Lutheran Youth Room!
Dr. John Oberdeck was a parish pastor in Southern Illinois for ten years, and served on the faculty of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in the Practical Department for thirteen years before coming to Concordia University Wisconsin in 2002, most recently serving as the Director of Lay Ministry. He retired in June 2017. He and his wife, Ginny, live in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, and have three grown children and seven growing grandchildren.