6 Questions Every Youth Ministry Should Ask Itself   by Doug Franklin

I believe that evaluation is important; it’s the way to growth. Evaluation is also very simple, we can do it be just asking, “is there a better way?” When we ask ourselves this question we are just checking to see if a new idea, system or program will help us be more effective.

Reasons not to evaluate: (youth workers have made all these statements to me in training seminars or workshops).
-“We like the status quote, things are going well and we don’t need to make changes.”
-“We reject the idea that ministries need to get better. We like not competing with others, in-fact we think it’s more spiritual.”
-We just love students and in this culture we feel like that is all you can do. Acceptance, low expectations and love are the way to minister to students.
-Students are under so much pressure and have so many distractions why try and get them to do more stuff.

We often succumb to the above reasons, because evaluation stirs something inside of us. It makes us feel not good enough, and no ones wants to feel like that. In my opinion, it’s what turns many people off to leadership and I think it’s why confidence plays such a big role in being a leader. Challenge yourself; is evaluation truly unhealthy or have you rejected the idea of evaluation because of how it makes you feel? The question is not designed to point blame but to give you a chance to really explore your heart.

If you want to evaluate your ministry try these 6 questions.

1. What do parents say is the focus of your ministry?
Whether or not parents can even answer this question tells you a lot about your communication and vision casting. If your parents don’t know, check to see if your adult volunteers know. If they don’t you might want to work on this one.

2. Can students tell you how to become a disciple of Christ? (not how to be saved, but the keys to following Christ).
I find that students can often tell you how to become a follower of Christ and can even share the gospel, but they don’t know what a disciple looks like. They stay as baby Christians and when they get in the world they face all kinds of trouble. Be clear with students about growing strong in Christ and his Word.

3. Can you name three students who have become followers of Christ in the past year?
When I was a youth pastor I had many years when no students accepted Christ. But it was those years I knew I needed to have a greater focus on outreach.

4. Do we have student-initiated service taking place through the youth ministry?
There are service opportunities that students’ initiate, and there are service opportunities that where we chase students down to volunteer. The latter tend to be less effective because there’s less ownership.

5. Are adult volunteers so excited about the ministry that they are recruiting new volunteers to join the team?
The best way to find new volunteers is through your current volunteers. When an adult volunteer is having an outstanding experience they are excited about sharing it with others.

6. Are students who left your ministry over a year ago still following and serving Christ?
This is a hard one to know sometimes, but if we do a good job at giving them a solid foundation, they will continue to follow Christ with the tools and resources we have equipped them with.

Again, these evaluation questions are just designed to give us a heads up on where we need to improve in our ministry. For some of these questions, you might answer “got it,” and for others, you may need some work. But hopefully this evaluation will help you answer the question “is there a better way?”

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