AVALANCHE AND BLIZZARD 2022 RETREATS UPDATE Our CBOQ Youth flagship retreats approach their 22nd year. Last year was our first ever fully online retreat experience. We were amazed at how God continues to bring his message of hope through these new channels for us. Many have been asking, “What will Avalanche and Blizzard look like this January/February 2022?” While there are still many determining factors yet to be finalized, we
This year, we are excited to announce our seven scholarship recipients. Through the legacy of the Baptist Leadership Education Centre, seven scholarships were awarded to young adults who are pursuing undergraduate post-secondary education or short-term ministry training ‘to live a life of impact – wherever they are and whatever they do’. Our recipients are: Angela Shen (Mississauga Grace Missionary Baptist Church) Jaden Pierson (First Baptist Church, Ingersoll) Joseph Xie (Immanuel Baptist Church,
The pandemic has led to the formation of new habits and expectations. Some have voiced the concern that some youth have become too comfortable with online interactions and just stay there with their cameras turned off; they believe there should be a greater “nudge” to in-person gatherings. This is a consumer-based point of view. While some of these concerns are valid, we must ask some deeper questions because there may
Long-Term Consideration 1: There are foundational changes in the ways the youth ministry operates that include different channels of discipleship.
The pandemic showed our primary (in many cases sole) dependency on synchronous in-person gatherings. Some ministries were able to pivot to other ways of helping youth in their faith development; others stalled and were unable to adapt. It’s clear that we need to consider other ways of engaging in discipleship to allow for greater adaptability, whether it’s for individual or societal reasons. There are 4 channels for consideration: 1:1 connections Synchronous onsite / in-person
Youth ministry continues to evolve from doing things FOR youth to doing things WITH youth. That shared experience in creating something together is more life-changing than any program we can create. One youth pastor shared how they began creating baking YouTube videos. Now, via Zoom, some of their youth group bake together. While it usually takes much longer than doing it by herself, they share how the youth are impacted in several ways: in creating shared memories, developing
Short-Term Consideration 3: Take the time now to discern the best way(s) to serve your youth and community and have the necessary resources in place.
A couple of caveats with this: Do not presume your youth ministry mandate/objectives/methods are exactly the same as they were pre-pandemic. In some cases, you may have youth who did connect with your youth ministry in the last few months who are not geographically able to meet in-person. Your strategies may need to be revised in light of new factors. Your youth ministry is not meant to be all-encompassing. Whether through CBOQ or other networks, you are part
Short-Term Consideration 2: In your area, the potential of churches reopening before some other businesses/institutions allows you to be a favoured place for in-person social interaction.
One of our youth pastors has commented that there is a good chance churches will be able to have larger group gatherings than most other businesses/institutions. Assuming you are appropriately fulfilling your civic and social due diligence, you may want to consider ways to provide space for both youth who are regularly connected to your group and others who are not. There likely will be numerical or proportional restrictions to consider
Tip: Talk with your children and youth leaders about their communication and involvement of parents in a hybrid ministry setup. As churches continue to further reopen their physical facilities for ministry activities, we hope all realize that the transition to physical reopening does not automatically mean the elimination of an online ministry component. While it may not be the same as what’s been done the last several months, recognizing not
Tip: Consult with kids/youth leaders re reopening. The physical reopening of the church site for in-person ministry will impact how children and youth ministries will operate. Each have their specific considerations. Ensure the appropriate people (e.g. your governing board and those point leaders) are on the same page in both expectations and operations of each ministry. CBOQ Kids offers key tips available at cboqkids.ca/tips. (Contact Tanya Yuen for further details.)
3 Takeaways from Dan Give youth a voice in the planning process. Establish partnerships that are long term. When planning, overcommunicate with everyone (your team, their parents and your service project partners).