We have all heard "there is more than one way to skin a cat, in various settings and context
How about when it comes "Youth Ministry" problems, issues, or difficulties... our "Cats". There is more than one way to approach these things that come up in your ministry as well...
10. Start with the EYES: What are people looking at and what are they seeing. Perception is reality!
9. Start with the EARS: What are people hearing? Ask your assistant, volunteers or a trusted parent 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? 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. Paws ended up having the claws (see #4)
6. Start with the HEAD: What are people thinking? Talk to someone outside the issue, that knows you and your ministry. Ask them for a "right off the top of your head" answer to what they think about something. 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. 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 too late!
3. Start at the HEART: What is the emotions, feelings, and beliefs connected to the issue or problem? Find out what others are feeling. What are the belief or even 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. Like another famous 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”!? Not seeking to be rude or crude, but the fact is we are sometimes more than anything else are the “Butt of the Problem"! We are the stubborn person that wouldn't change and all the above areas actually apply to us. We might just need to look in the mirror to see that we are the cat that needs to be skinned!!
What are YOU seeing or not seeing? What are YOU hearing or not listening to? Let's be real we get up and talk (A LOT), that is our job, what are YOU saying? Where are YOU digging in, when YOU should be letting it go? Where is your thought life? Are YOU feeding our own spiritual hunger first, before YOU try to feed others? Are YOU emotionally health and solid in your own beliefs? Are YOU an aware and sensitive leader to your students, church, and in your area.