I was journaling this morning and thinking about “What are the things that I need to be doing in the next few years to ensure that our ministry goes to the next level?” As I was writing out some goals… it dawned on me that these are things that EVERY student pastor needs to do in order to raise their ministry to the next level. So let me share:
1. Build Teams (no lone ranger youth ministry. In order to affectively minister to all of the students you have been given stewardship over… you need to recruit and build teams of caring adults who will pastor those kids alongside of you.)
2. Equip LEADERS to LEAD. (Once you have your teams in place, you have to train them to lead students. It’s not good enough to have the leaders there. Without training, responsibility, and resources… your leaders will quickly turn to volunteer babysitters, and then quickly exit your ministry.)
3. Build solid INFRASTRUCTURE for your ministry. (Without a solid foundation… things tend to crumble. Make sure that you take the necessary time to structure your ministry in a way that, if you ever had to NOT be there… the ministry would go on. Do you have a solid BASE for your ministry, or is everything riding on you?)
4. Change your ministry mindset: From TO students to OF students. (A ministry to students is a weekly show where students show up and become spectators… the success of that will last for a short while, but eventually, they will get bored of the show. A ministry OF students means that the students OWN their ministry. They put it on. They talk about it. They invite their friends to THEIR youth group. They have a VESTED INTEREST in what happens.)
5. Have a Solid Ministry Strategy in place: STEPS not PROGRAMS. (programs are easy… but they do not grow students. That’s right, I said it! Programs are a vehicle by which we can help a student grow… but they are not the end. STEPS grow people. Intentional, thought out STEPS will help your students grow. So the question is this: DO you have a strategy in place to 1) understand where a student is in their faith journey & 2) where they need to go next to grow spiritually? Or… are you hoping your program will solve that?)
6. Do weekly EVALUATION. (Grade yourself on everything from your programs to your volunteers to how you are helping your students grow. Allow others to speak into this as well… they might see things that you are blind to.)
I’m sure there are more than these 6 things (I intentionally left out things like studying your Bible and preaching messages, etc… because I assume that we are doing that anyway)… got any more? would love to add it to the list.