What’s up Rural Ministry world! This is my first post as a featured author on MinistryPlace and I’m pumped! At the same time I’m scared to death! I think, “What does this country bumpkin from Western Kentucky know about anything?” Then I remember that I am but a voice crying out in the wilderness (literally!) and that I know Rural Youth Ministry because it’s what I do on a weekly basis. I am honored to be sharing my insights with you!
For my first few posts I want to tackle something Brent posted about! You can find the original post here: http://ministryplace.net/rural-ministry-training-planning/
Each post I’m going to tackle what I see in my ministry setting in regards to Brent’s questions.
Before I tackle #1 please understand, all groups including rural youth groups, are different. This is just what I see in my setting. A little back ground, Dawson Springs is a town of around 3000. It literally has a county line running though the middle of it. The community is a rural mining community. Our group is diverse ranging from 6th grade to 12th. We average between 15-20 students depending on the time of year. That’s to give you an idea of my setting.
His question number one is an easy one for me to answer. It’s a struggle I’ve dealt with in every church I’ve been in. I’m sure it’s the same at every church Rural or not but it’s hyper exaggerated in a rural setting. It’s money! Every Rural church struggles with money. Mark Devries once said in a workshop I sat in on that a healthy youth ministry budget is $2000 per student. I’ve never been at a church where this was even feasible in a rural setting! Some churches do good to have $2000 as a youth budget! Some youth minister may read this and say “You have a budget?!?!” I want to give you some ideas to stretch your budget!
1: Check out things like Group Mission Trip’s Big Day of Serving:
Want to do an awesome mission trip/service project but don’t have the money for anything real big? Check out Big Day of Serving. It’s a one-day event. There are Big Day’s all over the nation so there’s bound to be one in driving distance. Best of all, it’s not that expensive! Sign up early and get the $29 fee. Even if you have to ask your students to cover the $29 fee, it’s not that expensive. Big Day is an awesome value and you will get more than your money’s worth.
2: Look for cheap/free events!
Concerts like Winter Jam or Rock and Worship Road Show that charge $10 at the door are an awesome fellowship opportunity. Ever heard of 30 Hour Famine? 30 Hour Famine is a free event you can put on to raise awareness for world hunger. Your students fast for 30 hours and raise money for World Vision. They send you an awesome pack full of great ideas and games to do at your gathering.
3: Check out the blog!
Brent is gathering a ton of cheap and free youth ministry resources and posting them on here. Be sure to check any post titled “Youth Ministry on the Cheap”.
That’s all I got for this post! Hey I’m a good Southern Baptist minister, three point post and I’m done. Until next time!