Tag Archives: Youth Development

Church Based After School Ministry: What Type of Ministry Does Your Church Have?

Are you satisfied with the results of this Past year?

Look at the chart below – which type of ministry have you been a part of this past year?

If you would like to have a Youth Development Ministry read through the three following links.

What Do At Risk Kids Need?

At Risk Kids Need Secondary Nurturers

What At Risk Kids Receive from Secondary Nurtuers

Devicit or Youth Development


Church Based After School: Emotional Needs of Children

   This is the story of a church-raised child – how much more devastating this would be for one of your kids in your after-school ministry.

Nine-year-old Marty loved Bill his Sunday school teacher.  On Sunday mornings, he could hardly wait to get to church to be with Bill.  Bill would call from time to time, and they would chat on the phone, or Bill would send him a postcard just to tell him how special he was.

One Sunday when Marty arrived at church, Bill was very excited.  He told Marty that he had just purchased a new fishing pole and was planning to go fishing the following Saturday.  He invited Marty to go with him, if his parents consented.

Marty was so excited!  After Sunday school, he made a mad dash to find his mom and see if it would be O.K.  Marty’s parents knew Bill well, and they were excited that he wanted to spend a day with their son, so they told Marty that it would be great.  Marty ran back into the room to tell Bill that he would be able to go with him.

Bill was also excited and they made arrangements regarding their day of fishing.

Marty could hardly wait until Saturday morning.  He told all his friends at school about his great Sunday school teacher who was going to take him fishing.

Friday evening rolled around and Marty’s family went out for dinner.  When they returned from dinner, there was a message on the answering machine.  It went something like this.

“Hey buddy, this is Bill.  I really hate to do this to you, but I know you’ll understand.  I was just given tickets to the UCLA – USC football game tomorrow.  I know you were really counting on going fishing but we’ll do it another time, O.K., buddy?  Love ‘ya.  See ‘ya Sunday.”

Marty’s mother told this story.

She had just read a brochure on the emotional needs of children.  After reading the brochure, Marty’s mom said that it was at that time that Marty suddenly changed his attitude about going to church.  She hadn’t made the connection before.

As we prepare to provide the most excellent ministry we can for the children whom God sends to us it is vital that we consider each child’s emotional needs.


Relational Ministry – Words or Actions?

By Wanda Parker

KidTrek Trainingnow on-line  For more information click here

I was in the bedroom creating a seminar on the “Love One Another” passages in the Bible when my youngest daughter, who was then in kindergarten, came into the bedroom.  Dana was fixing herself lunch so she could go to her afternoon kindergarten class and asked me to open the peanut butter jar.

My study had so absorbed me that I did not pay attention to her.  Each time she asked, I automatically answered, “Yes, honey,” or “Sure, in just a minute.”

Finally, exasperated with her mother’s lack of concern for her needs, Dana took the peanut butter jar and whacked me on the back with it.  She got my attention!

Though it hurt, I could not get angry, for the Lord impressed on my heart at the instant of contact with the jar that my study of love had not made me a loving, caring mother, attentive to the needs of my kids.

During the last week of His life on earth Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment:

“A new commandment I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  All men will know that you are My disciples if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

We can do a lot of talking about love.  We can study the scriptures.  We can intellectually know the difference between agapë, philio, and eros love; however, everything is useless if it does not come alive within and through us.

The way we treat the kids and our attitude toward them will speak louder than any words we utter.

Relational ministry is taking the lid off the peanut butter jar the first time we are asked.  In doing so, we tell the kid he is valued; he is significant enough to interrupt what we are doing to meet his need.  As we do this, the kid learns that Jesus loves him unconditionally.  We may be the kid’s only link to Jesus.

Mother/Daughter Christmas Luncheon

by Wanda Parker

The room was decorated by the kids.  The tables were set – the fun was about to begin.

Christmas lunceon tables

The food began to accumulate – it looked so good.

The food began to accumulate

Oh that looks like we are only going to have dessert – I’m sure the daughters won’t mind.

The anticipation grows – and oh look there is more than desert.  Those Korean dumplings look great.

The anticipation grows


Yum Yum everything tastes so good

Everything tastes so good.  Even better was the sharing of favorite Christmas memories.  It was so great to hear the children speak of trimming the Christmas tree with their moms.  What happy memories.  The moms spoke of Christmases past and family still in their homeland.


Mothers and daughters worked together to name Christmas songs as they competed against the other mothers and daughters.

 What is a Christmas party without the gift passing unwrapping game?

Gift Passing

Inside the final package unwrapped was a nice coffee cup.

The memories are so important so each one goes home with a Christmas ornament of their own creation.

Christmas ornament

Then everyone stayed and helped clean up!  A fun day, a day of building memories, a day of celebration – mothers and daughters together.

Youth Development – The Little Things Aren’t So Little

by Wanda Parker


In working with kids we often miss the importance of something that many of us just do naturally – but many children miss because they don’t have nuturing adults in their lives.

A friend who ministers on a college campus has built a relationship with a hurting young man.  Scott invites Alex to his home quite often to interact with his family, which includes five children.  One day when Alex was at Scott’s he said, “You sure do have lots of pictures of your kids all over the house.”

Scott asked, “Why is that so significant to you?”

“Because I don’t remember there ever being a picture of myself up in my house when I was a child,” Alex responded.

The importance of pictures.  My house is full of pictures of my children and grandchildren.  I have pictures hanging on the walls, sitting on tables and in boxes on the floor.  Three of my grandchildren take the box of pictures, each time they come, and go through it laughing and remembering as they find pictures of themselves in the box.

I have the pictures out because they bring up warm memories, they warm my heart.  After hearing the story of Alex and then remembering how my own grandchildren respond to seeing their pictures in my home I realized that the pictures tell others how much I cherish them.

If you serve at-risk kids be sure that you have pictures of them up in the location where you serve them.  Not just one picture of each kid, but many.  Not just in one room or location but all over your center.  This will go a long way in letting the kids know you cherish them.

One director told me that she makes extra copies so the kids can take them home.  What a great idea.

Have fun with the pictures.

Youth Development Center or Deficit Center

By Wanda Parker

“Our goal is not to raise good godly kids!
Our goal is to raise great and godly adults!”

Brenda John

If you want to see lasting results from your ministry to at-risk kids it is imperative that you think out into the future.  What do kids need today to become great and godly adults 40 years from now?

There are two very distinct type of ministries/programs.  Which one do you think will produce the best results?

The largest majority of ministries run deficit or drop in centers.


  • Emphasis on kid’s deficit
  • Provide one or two activities to meet a kid’s deficit
    Learning Center
    Bible Clubs
    Recreation Programs
    Drug/Sex Education
  • Concentrate only on the kids
  • Large numbers
  • Fragmented involvement with kid
  • No set length of time to work with kid
  • Kids only receive
  • Short-term success BUT no lasting positive impact

Youth Development Center

  • Emphasis on kid’s potential
  • Whole-istic – work with whole kid
  • Kids register-attendance required
  • Work with family/school/social service providers
  • Small number of kids (1 adult per 5 kids)
  • Purposeful
    Written plans for each kid
  • Long term commitment
  • Kids eventually led to give
  • End result oriented
  • Fully prepared for adulthood

Click here To read more about what at-risk kids need to grow into great godly adults.

Click here to read about KidTrek Training