New Apostolic Church USA

Faith Arc FAQs - Youth Leaders

Is the youth leader becoming a confirmation class teacher or could the current confirmation class teacher become a youth leader?

The youth leader is responsible for making sure the THRIVE youth small group discussions happen, whether they facilitate the discussion or share that responsibility with a young adult or someone that is an existing Confirmation teacher.

 

Can a youth leader continue their role if they cannot commit time for this new program?

In most cases, this will need to be discussed on an individual basis. Because the church is investing a lot of resources into equipping local youth leaders to be successful, some regular time commitment will be necessary.

 

What happens if no one steps up to be a youth leader?

As a church, we’re trying to effectively communicate the importance of investing in young Christians that are developing their faith. If there isn’t anyone in the congregation that is able to commit to youth leader responsibilities, it becomes the responsibility of the congregation to work alongside the youth and parents to support them in their development.

It is also possible for youth leaders of neighboring congregations to help care for youth in nearby congregations. They can either provide the pastoral care and teaching themselves, or just help organize it and support a member in the local congregation in this endeavor.

 

What about a congregation without youth leaders?

Congregations with few or no youth contingency may find a youth group is not a good fit for their size. If you have even a few youth students in a congregation, the congregation should have an individual that is recognized as a youth leader. This is to ensure that the youth student receives the necessary education in preparation for confirmation, and necessary soul care for their phase of life. In a congregation without a designated youth leader, this is an opportunity for parents to take a more active role as well.

 

Can I use a different curriculum that works well for my group?

Because confirmation material has been integrated into the youth curriculum, the New Apostolic Church USA is asking local youth leaders to utilize the provided curriculum.

 

What if we can't have weekly discussions?

A monthly model for the discussions is also being developed for smaller congregations.

 

Why are youth leaders being asked to submit accountability forms?

The goals the church has for youth are different than they have been in the past. It has been said, “if it is important, it is measured.” This measurement has local and organizational purposes.

The local youth leader can benefit greatly from regular self-evaluation and reflection. The goal of reviewing one’s work is for improvement, and we are all on a journey of improvement.

From a higher level, the New Apostolic Church is to have a certain type of youth program with consistency throughout the country. Regular and local review helps aim those programs at the center of the ideal program. While these reviews help form the program into the right shape, they also measure movement towards or away from the bullseye. Over time we can study aggregate data to measure national level trends and make improvement to training, materials, resources, etc. The review is an important part of program development and the support in this way is greatly appreciated.

 

Who will need a background check? (This was in lieu of a prior statement that all teachers and youth leaders will need a background check.)

For any person working with children or youth in the congregation, they will need a background check. This includes teachers, youth leaders, and ministers. Already right now, ministers are going through the process of signing the Principles of Understanding and receiving a background check. The process of background checks is important because it’s necessary to create an environment of safety for all members.

 

Everything worked great for me. Why are you making these changes for my child(ren)?

Continual learning and change is important. Culture has evolved a lot over the past several years. The research done by the New Apostolic Church USA suggests that it is no longer fitting to have an open age range for a youth group. This has legal, safety and maturity level components. In today’s culture, we must be very sensitive to the legal implications of having adults in ministry with minors. These legal sensitivities are rooted in making safety for minors a priority, and we must share this concern. Further, adults are in a different life stage and often have different needs. It is important for young adults to experience full integration into congregational life as the adults that they are. They should be treated this way, and they should be labeled this way.

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