Building Bridges: Collaborative Youth Work in the City - Reframeyouth

Building Bridges: Collaborative Youth Work in the City

Whether you’re a pastor, non-profit leader, or passionate volunteer, we all share a common goal: to work for the transformation in the lives of young people in our cities. We can do this by embracing the power of working together in community, not just within our church walls but by including secular and civic groups like educators and other local youth organizations.

Why Community Matters

In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us about two kingdoms: the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world​​. We are called to be part of God's kingdom, where love, justice, and community thrive. This kingdom is not limited to our churches but extends to every corner of our society. Jesus gathered disciples from all walks of life, showing us that diverse collaborations are vital to our mission.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he emphasized the importance of becoming "all things to all people" for the sake of the Gospel​​. This means stepping out of our comfort zones and engaging with people where they are, including those who might not share our faith. By partnering with secular and civic groups, we can amplify our impact and reach more youth in need.

The Benefits of Collaboration

  1. Shared Resources and Expertise: Partnering with local schools, civic organizations, and other non-profits allows us to pool resources and expertise. Educators can provide insights into the academic and social challenges that urban youth face, while we can offer spiritual and emotional support. Together, we can create more comprehensive programs that address the whole person.
  2. Broader Reach: By working together, we can extend our reach beyond our immediate communities. Secular organizations often have access to different networks and platforms that can help us connect with more young people. This collaboration can lead to a greater overall impact in our city.
  3. Stronger Community Ties: Collaborations foster a sense of unity and shared purpose. When churches and secular groups work together, we model for our youth what it looks like to bridge divides and work towards common goals. This unity can inspire young people to build their own bridges and contribute positively to their communities.

Practical Steps to Building Partnerships

  1. Reach Out: Start by reaching out to local schools, community centers, and youth organizations. Introduce yourself and your ministry and express your interest in working together for the benefit of the youth.
  2. Listen and Learn: Take time to listen to the needs and challenges these organizations face. Learn about their programs and see where your ministry can complement their efforts.
  3. Offer Support: Find tangible ways to support these organizations. This could be through volunteering, providing resources, or offering your space for community events.
  4. Create Joint Programs: Work together to create programs that combine your strengths. For example, you might partner with a local school to offer an after-school tutoring program that includes both academic support and life skills training.

As followers of Christ, we are called to be the light in our communities​​. This means stepping out of our comfort zones and engaging with the broader community in meaningful ways. By partnering with secular and civic groups, we can create a stronger, more supportive network for our urban youth.

IG :@aimrightministries & @jeffchuppaz 


Jeff Chupp is the Executive Director at Aim Right Ministries in Phoenix, AZ, where he passionately works with at-risk students. Married to Trisha, they have three children, juggling the hustle of family life with urban youth work. As an ultrarunner, he finds peace and challenge out on the desert trails. An avid reader, Jeff is always eager to explore new ideas and viewpoints. 

Back to blog

Leave a comment