It’s hard to navigate youth ministry on your own, especially during a pandemic. To combat loneliness and provide a space for collaboration and creativity, youth pastors across Canada are joining together through city wide networks, to meet the growing needs of Gen Z. In this conversation with Matt Johnson, he shares why networking is the best things a youth pastor can do for their soul, and for the spread of the gospel. Matt is a youth pastor at Every Nation and one of the leaders of the 604 Network in Vancouver.
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“We can’t be ignorant to think that just one church is going to win the city. It’s going to take the entire body of Christ.”
This emphasis on unity was attractive to youth pastors in other provinces and they began to form like-minded networks to support one another, especially during the challenges to youth ministry presented by COVID-19.
Youth leaders networks have moved their meetings online to continue to share and learn from one another the creative ways different youth ministries have been navigating the pandemic. A new emphasis in these meetings is on how youth pastors and ministries can not only survive but thrive in this season.
In our conversation with Matt he shared that building a network is not always easy and requires perseverance. Initially some youth pastors were resistant to the idea of adding another meeting and more relationships to their work. However, Matt often finds that within a two year span, many come back around, seeking relationships and support.
“If I’m just looking at running a program I don’t need a lot of people, but if I’m looking at a city, I can’t do that on my own. Similarly, to look at not just a group of kids, but an entire generation, I’m going to need a lot of help.”
Many leaders are struggling to reach out to youth in their communities because of the complexities caused by the pandemic. Running Alpha for youth online offers you a simple program to reach new youth and stay connected with your students.