We have all heard "there is more than one way to skin a cat". The same is true of "Youth Ministry Cats", there is more than one way to approach issues and problems that come up in your ministry...
10. Start with the EYES: What are people looking at and what are they seeing. Perception is everything!
9. Start with the EARS: What are people hearing? Ask your secretary, volunteers or trusted parents what they are hearing about an issue or problem
8. Start with the MOUTH: What are people saying? Somewhat similar to the above, what are people hearing, but you need to find out by going directly to a person that is "talking". Ask them face to face and hear it from the "cat's mouth". Some times talk is talk, but it still causes problems.
7. Start with the PAWS: Where are people going? Find out who/where are people going to with the problem or issue. Money talks and "something else" walks.... ;-)
6. Start with the HEAD: What are people thinking? Talk to someone outside the issue, but knows you and your ministry and ask them for "right off the top of your head" what do they think advice. Also find out people's thought(s) behind the issue
5. Start with the STOMACH: What are people hungry for? Problems arise when people aren't being fed or don't feel like they are being fed. Investigate what the adults want or think they want from your youth ministry spiritually and investigate with your students what they are really "hungry for"?
4. Start with the CLAWS: What is the "point" of the issue? What are people really digging in on? Just like a real cat, once they sink their claws into something there is no letting go. Find out quickly before it is to late!
3. Start at the HEART: What is the emotions, feelings,and beliefs connected to this issue or problem? Find out what others are feeling and what the belief or sometimes tradition that is related to the problem.
2. Start with the NOSE: What are you smelling? This may seem a bit weird at first, but after a while you can smell trouble coming. Keep aware and ahead of things. The best solutions sometimes is prevention, or use another cliche "Cut it off at the pass'. Know your group, church, parents, and area well, so you know what might be an issue before it becomes one!
1. Start with the BUTT!: (Insert Butt Joke Here). The fact is we are the "butt head" and the "butt of the problem" sometimes. We are the stubborn person that wouldn't change and all the above areas apply to us. We might just need to look in the mirror and start skinning the cat.
What are we seeing or not seeing? What are we hearing or not listening to? Let's be real we get up and talk (A LOT), that is our job, what are we saying? Where are we digging in, when we should be letting it go? Where is our thought life? Are we feeding our own spiritual hunger first, before we try to feed others? Are emotionally health and solid in our own beliefs? Are we an aware and sensitive leader to our students, church, and our area.
There is more than one way to skin a cat and each of these are great places to start both on a real cat or "youth ministry cat" in the end the best place might just be the butt!!?