Overcoming Culture Shock to Build Deep Relationships with Urban Youth

By Lisa Gintz, Posted on 11/27/10

The first year on staff at Youth for Christ will be an exciting time to learn news skills, develop a deeper passion for ministry and grow closer to God in your own relationship with Him. One of the things that you may not realize at this point is that you are about to embark on a difficult journey. This journey is difficult not simply because you will be orientated to a new job or a new position and learning new skills. Your transition to YFC creates a deep level of change in your day-to-day focus. The culture shock of beginning to work for YFC takes a lot of people by surprise. In fact, it might be helpful for you to know that a large portion of the people we recruit to work at Youth for Christ end up terminating their positions before the first year of their service is complete.

We are going to explore some of these complicated issues in this article. Understanding the phases of culture shock is meant to provide a framework for you to assess your ministry experience at Youth for Christ and is by no means meant to be authoritative or exhaustive. It would be impossible to cover all of the issues that pop up in a first year staff person’s experience. But, hopefully, it will open your eyes to some of more general trends that you most likely experience during your first year of work at Youth for Christ to help you get to the point where you can build deep an meaningful relationships with urban youth and your ministry team.


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