HOW TO START A YPA
1. First, check our website to make sure there is not already one in your area. If not, here are a few things that will help you avoid some of the hardships we hit along the way.
2. If you don’t already, start building relationship with a few other youth pastors in your immediate area. Go to lunch, dinner, Starbucks, anything that will get you together.
3. Start talking about organizing more regular gatherings and planning a spot where you can meet. For us, we have found that meeting at one of our churches youth rooms with a bunch of couches in a circle seems to work great, but for each group this will look a bit different. Make sure to find a place that your group will fit comfortably with room to grow. Wherever you gather make sure it is a place you have where you won’t be interrupted, overheard, and have plenty of time after if it runs long.
4. We have found that a once a month gathering works well for our group and we have set the first Wednesday of the month at 10am so everyone will always knows when it is.
5. You will need someone who will make a list of everyone’s contact information and will send out reminder emails, facebooks, texts, whatever works. (Strangely we all need reminding.)
6. Download free logos and resources to help promote and organize gatherings.
7. Start gathering, make sure that the reminders also alert every one of the new topic up for discussion or sharing at the next gathering. When picking a time to find a time that works for your group, if they are mostly full time during the week works, but if they are mostly volunteer with other jobs maybe a different time works. (We have a list of possible topics to use, just email Chris and he can send it to you.)
8. Be open with each other, knowing that it is a safe group. Just like any other support group and Vegas, what happens in the group stays in the group.
9. Continue to invite other youth pastors that you meet along the journey, this group is open to all who need it.
10. Rinse and Repeat each month or as needed.
11. For any other questions, information, and a list of good discussion topics please contact Chris Cummings at Chris@ForestHillsUMC.org. Plus then we will be able to add you to our website so others can find you!