“How Can We Help Each Other?”: An Introduction to Peer Counseling and Group Support
Like any ministry, Youth Ministry absolutely depends on the participants’ willingness to support each other in order to go well. Adults and professionals can only do so much for troubles teenagers, however. The real work of ministry comes in the form of supportive friends, caring about each other and ensuring that their emotional and spiritual needs are met to the best of their ability. This session is designed to provide you with a beginning to ensuring that your group is the kind of group that ministers in this way.
Big Idea: We are not alone in this world. Our youth need to feel supported individually and as a group, and we also need support both in and outside our congregations.
Session Video Lectures
Youth and Congregational Culture
Building a Supportive Youth Group
Introduction to Peer Counseling
Knowing Your Limitations
When you can, please give attention to these suggested materials:
“How to be a better friend” (Some language)
“Why Teens May Never Be the Same After the Pandemic” (Some language)
Behavior in High School Predicts Income and Occupational Success Later in Life
The Role of Compulsive Texting in Adolescents’ Academic Functioning
APA’s “Raising Strong Girls” podcast
Anxiety and Teen Girls
After the Session: Research, Action, and Reflection
Below are suggestions for further research and activities to engage in as you look to start a project for you group. There are no grades! We want to encourage trying something new and learning from mistakes and successes. Let us know how it goes. Feel free to use the public question board to post your reflections or send a private note to the leaders.
Write (just for yourself) – why are you doing this? What is the point? What is the purpose? Why will it matter in 10 years?
Ask others involved in youth ministry with you – why are we doing this?
Rev. Sara Clarke Turpin is Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Buechel Park Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, where she has served since 2013. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from BSK: Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, along with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown College with majors in Religion and Business Administration: Management and minors in Church Music and Psychology. She has been both a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) Scholar and Fellow and served on the CBF Kentucky Coordinating Council and Execitive Committee. Before coming to Buechel Park, Sara served as the Youth Minister at Melbourne Heights Baptist Church in Louisville for four years.
Andrew Noe serves at East Leonard CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigian as the Pastor of Faith Formation. He is a proud graduate of the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, is passionate about bringing creativity to ministry, and enjoys working with teenagers. He is married to the wonderful Hannah, and they have two spectacular kids – Gwen and Benjamin. His side passions are comic books, lego and video games.
Justin Sizemore is the Minister to Youth at Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. He is a graduate of the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University and a proud Georgetown College Tiger! He has been involved in Youth Ministry as a volunteer, assistant, chaperone, and now minister for over 14 years. Youth Ministry is his passion and calling.
Justin is married to Abby Sizemore (The FABULOUS Director of Admissions for the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky!!!) and they have two wonderful daughters, Ann-Thomas and their most recent addition, Edith (Edie).
Questions, Comments and Ideas
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Flourish courses offer great learning opportunities around key topics designed to help equip church leaders for vibrant ministry. These short-term courses are offered online and are affordable.