The season of Advent is here. For some, it’s a month-long celebration. For many, it’s a season of stress. For others, some deep pain is associated with this time of year.
Renee Embree (Director of Youth and Family Ministries with the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada) recently blogged on “How to help parents have less ‘crazy’ this advent & Christmas season” (http://cbacyf.ca/oneneighbourhood/2018/11/22/how-to-help-parents-have-less-crazy-this-advent-amp-christmas-season). Here are some specific things to note:
- Discuss Christmas specials
- Relieve the pressure
- Encourage presence, not presents
- God sightings
We have come up with some adaptations of Embree’s suggestions that may be helpful for your youth ministry.
- Encourage youth to spend some time with their families. While some households may have issues (especially during these teenage years), we need to remind youth that family is still family. Perhaps healthy boundaries need to be established. It doesn’t negate that they are part of their family for a reason.
- Remind youth they are welcomed into a larger family. Maybe schedule a series of texts that they can receive, offering an encouragement during Christmas.
- Serve together. It doesn’t just have to be within your youth group. Encourage a mix of families, young and old, whatever combination.
- Look out for those who are on the periphery. It can be easy to not notice those who have some deep pain during this season. . Let’s take the time to notice, to reach out, and be the presence of Christ.
What are ways you could make this Advent season less crazy? Offer your insights in the comments below.