9 Priorities in Starting a Youth Ministry (Part 2)
Enterprise is about your sense of adventure, your ability to cast vision and your passion to bring it to fruition.
How do you see things in the world. Can you imagine and play with possibilities in your mind and in your group. How much do you feel you can take risk and how much risk is acceptable is also important variables in your sense of adventure. There are times to be “safe” and time to take “risk.” You can’t win football games by solely by making long passes down the field, nor can you do it with runs up the middle… a mix is needed to survive.
Casting a Vision
As a leader you are the one who needs to cast a vision. This is probably the most different than any other job you’ve ever had. Rather than being a player, running the routes that are called by the head coach, you are the one who makes the calls to pass the ball down the field. When you use your sense of adventure to project a path down the field that you believe God is calling you towards, you can call the plays that will help your ministry grow. This includes making small and large passes, not every play has to be a gang-buster, but you need to be consistent and make good calls so when one fails, you are consistent enough that people will buy into your next visionary statement.
This “keep at it” factor is how you take your vision and take it past the original luster that a new idea has. Keeping at it builds stamina in yourself and your team. If you have a flavor of the week, your team will see this and just wait (in stagnation) for the next vision to come and go, leaving you fruitless.
For each area of ministry, you will be evaluating the program’s strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. (SWOT) Doing a SWOT analysis helps you see where you are strong and where you are weak. This helps best when your vision and construction of ministry is clear. When you know what you should be and how you should be doing it, this evaluation is made more clearly.
Self-evaluation is difficult for some people. It takes an attitude that allows you to be human and that you may not be doing everything as well as you could (and be genuine when you look at these things). Introspection is a skill that is learned over time. Take your job description and see how you are doing in each area. Take the purposes of your ministry and see how you measure up against those. Ask a few close friends how to evaluate and grow better and see where they see your weaknesses.
How close you are to your group and how close they are to you is one way to see engagement. The other is working with parents and families to see their level of engagement in the ministries around youth group. Investment is the strongest way that I seem to have found to build engagement. That is, the more you invest in others and things that are important to them, the more reciprocity you will receive. But don’t do this in order just to increase engagement, you need to do this out of a heart of service, otherwise you will be seen for the fraud you are…