Wild Frontier is a mindset.  It is a mindset that there is something more out there than what is normal.  It is a mindset of following God's leading to more of what God has for you in ministry, particularly youth ministry.

This is the compilation from 30-years of youth ministry experience.  These are the best practices we have found to shape the faith of teenagers so they can live a faith that moves them to something more than normal.

WF YM: Youth Leaders Are Authority Figures

You are not big buddies.  There are too many stories like this one about a family who is no longer a part of their church who is still angry at a former youth pastor who let the daughter ride on the hood of his car around the church parking lot.

You have been entrusted by the parents with the welfare of minors. That means you have to be concerned with safety and safety means rules. Rules need to be enforced by the authority and that is you. You are an authority figure.

Don’t worry. As an authority figure your youth will still like you because in safety and authority there is comfort and security. In comfort and security anyone can learn and that is what you want to see happen which is why you work with youth.

WF YM: Spend Purposed Time At School

If you have time in your schedule to visit the schools of your teens, do it. But don’t just do it by visiting at lunch. While the youth you are visiting at lunch go crazy with appreciation for your visit, you have just used the school’s generosity to further push your agenda and not help the school. We love teenagers and want as many to be saved as possible. You have righteous and pure motives. But that is not the agenda of the school. Their agenda is to educate students and they need all the help possible to help achieve that. We see the “tribe” gathered in one location which gives us easier opportunities. The school sees the “tribe” gathered as their responsibility and they are already fighting losing battles with attitudes, violence, and apathy.

WF YM: Purposely Provide Spiritual Markers and Memories

You will know this is a good youth ministry idea by taking a quick analysis of your own life. Imagine drawing out or telling your own spiritual journey story. No matter how you got to God it is guaranteed that it is a path made up of strong and emotional memories. It wasn’t the powerful sermons you heard and it wasn’t your attendance to a certain youth group–unless you were personally and emotionally connected to the group experience.

A good use of your time would be to plan such spiritual markers and memories. Whether they are rites of passages, out-of-the-ordinary-God-experience events, and/or relationship builders with the church family. Your time investment will have the best returns. Your youth will remember this more than any of the messages you will have preached.