Lisa Aparicio, Ministry Development Coordinator
What motivates you to work with youth?
I love the developmental stages of adolescence and young adulthood and the incredible potential being discovered as youth seek to answer “Who am I?” and “Who can I be?”. To be able to help a teen navigate the journey of discovering who they are and help them base that identity firmly in Christ is an extremely exciting motivator for me. I had youth leaders who saw more in me than I believed there was in myself and their belief in me helped me open myself up to God's calling on my life. I want to be available for God to use me to do the same for the youth I work with.
How many years have you been in youth ministry?
What is the best book you have read relating to youth ministry?
I can only narrow it down to two! First, Sticky Faith by Dr. Kara Powell and Brad Griffin, and the other one is Almost Christian by Kenda Creasy Dean.
What’s the best advice you can give a youth leader?
Don’t try to do youth ministry alone. First, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and go before you in all that you plan and do. This is not your youth group, just like the church does not belong to the senior pastor. This is God’s work and he should be central in all of it. Second, work with parents and other adults, as they are the most influential teachers in teens’ lives. While it’s tempting to want to be the hero and favorite adult, your teens need more than just you speaking into their lives for their faith in Christ to have deep roots in their hearts.
What’s the best advice you can give to parents of youth?
Visibly live out the type of faith you want your children to have. Studies have shown that the faith of youth directly reflects the faith of the adults around them as they observe it. Share your story with your children, mistakes and all. They need to know the power of forgiveness and the grace of God as much as they need to know about his salvation and holiness.
What would you like the church to know about today’s youth?
They are awesome! Don’t be afraid to connect with the youth of your church; ask about their interests and dreams. We know that the interest the whole church takes in its youth is a clear indicator of their faith lasting beyond their time in youth group.