Erin Knocke, Event Assistant

What motivates you to work with youth?

I love working with youth for two reasons. Youth are at a turning point in their lives. Everything comes into question, and they need to answer all the hard questions. Their faith is becoming their own. When I was in high school, I had people who intentionally poured into me, and I enjoy having similar relationships with youth now. My second reason that motivates me to work with youth is that they are the church of today and tomorrow. Our youth have such an impact on the work and direction of our churches. In my time working with youth, my hope grows for the next generation of leaders. Their passion is inspirational for me.

How many years have you been in youth ministry?

2 years

What is the best book you have read relating to youth ministry?

The Mission of God’s People, by Christopher Wright. 

This book taught me the story of God is united, beginning to end. And it awakened my heart to seeking where I belong in God’s story. It has changed the way I introduce people to Jesus and the Bible.

What’s the best advice you can give a youth leader?  

My best advice to a youth pastor from someone who was recently a youth is to be there. I think that youth pastors often have pressure on them to be a game organizer, event planner, and an attention grabber. But the most meaningful thing that you can do is to be a rock — a safe place for these kids to land. Be their cheerleader and their listening ear.  But you can’t do it alone. Have a team of youth workers that loves and mentors your students. 

What’s the best advice you can give to parents of youth?

Be a part of their ministry life. Serve together. Worship together. Help break down the stereotype of your faith being personal and private to one of community and encouragement. And don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions with your kids.

What would you like the church to know about today’s youth?

Get ready to step outside! The youth of today are ready to do something about what they believe. They are passionate about things they hold personal to them. And they are different. The youth of today are distinctly different than the youth of 10 years ago. So be ready for someone completely new. And they are ready to bring in the Kingdom with you.