As you prepare for a new calendar year, it’s a great time invest some of your student ministry downtime in re-energizing your ministry. For most student ministries, the mindset is built around the school year, but the start of a calendar year marks another good time to assess, set goals and dream. This needs to be done on a personal level and on a ministry level. Here are 11 ways to help bring clarity as you begin the new season:
1. Develop Clarity in Your Personal Schedule
What will be your rhythm this year? When will you have a Sabbath time each week? What are the big dates you know about now? Sit down with a calendar and begin planning and dreaming on a personal level. I heard Jason Hatley once say that most people underestimate what they can do in a year and over estimate what they can do in two weeks. What gets scheduled has a much better chance of actually getting done! Just write down the ideal situations and see what happens.
2. Determine the Markers of Effectiveness
What will be the win? How will you know if this year has been a success? As you approach the new year, you need to develop a personal mission statement and goals for the year. This will be one way to measure the effectiveness of your ministry.
3. Remember Your Calling for Ministry
The New Year allows for a natural opportunity to remember your calling. How did you get involved in ministry? Where are you in the journey? True contentment comes when we put our trust in God to lead us and have us in the right place at the right time! Enjoy your ministry role. And always be praying that God will use you to help move the ball down the field in your church for this season.
4. Reflect on the Past Year
Take time to assess the high and low points from last year. What was great? What would you have changed? What was one regret? How has your life changed since last year? What have you learned? For what can you be thankful?
5. Set a Meeting for All Students, Leaders and Families
Now is the time to set a meeting with students, families and leaders for January. Get it on the calendar and let people know about it. This will be a huge step in communication for the Spring and anything you know about the Summer. During this meeting, which can be as simple as the first regular meeting time of the year or a special event at some point, you need to 1) Celebrate 2) Engage 3) Inform and 4) Inspire. You can read more about those here.
6. Determine What Needs to be Delegated
Without delegation, you will never be as effective as you can be! Now is a great time to spruce up your delegation skills! It’s a help to the ministry, to the students, to the church and to yourself. Here are 44 Things Youth Workers Might Delegate.
7. Invite New Leaders to Join You
Create some entry points for volunteers in your ministry. The new year is a great time to open the door for volunteers in ministry. Write something about it in one of the church publications. Host a meeting for interested people. Ask people personally. Write up job descriptions for volunteer leaders or small group leaders. Invite your current volunteer team to pray for others who may want to be a part of the team. Invite people to help with one shot events to give them a glimpse of the ministry.
8. Connect with the Schools About Scheduling, Etc
The beginning of fall may have been crazy, but now things are in the groove and it’s a good time to connect with school officials about dates for graduation, proms, Easter Break, etc. This may be the year to introduce yourself through a letter, email or phone call. Let the school know you and your church are praying for them. Build a bridge.
9. Set up / Beef up Your Social Media Skills
If you haven’t already, set up a student ministry Instagram account or Twitter account. Social media is a great free way to be connected to students and families. It’s also something you can invite people to help with. Join the fun of connecting with students – but be disciplined, diligent and careful. We want to be the face of the ministry, not another student. When social media is done right, it’s a powerful tool for ministry.
10. End of Year Assessment with the Senior Pastor / Supervisor
It’s always good to stay in touch with the senior pastor. Your role is a supporting ministry role. One specific need for senior pastors and youth pastors is communication – to know where things are heading! Here’s a list of 11 Traits of great supportive ministers. And here’s a list of Seven things senior pastors need from their youth pastors. Go ahead, set up a time to meet later this month!
11. Share Your Vision with the Church
How are you sharing the vision of student ministry with your church? Is there a place for you to write about all the great things that have happened? Can a student share a quick testimony about her experience this year in the ministry? What can you do to build a positive image of student ministry for your congregation? What can you do to connect students to the life of the congregation? The Christmas season is a great time for intergenerational ministry.
What to go a step farther?
We recently recorded and packaged all the links, resources, files and handouts from our fall youth worker training it’s available now for $15.00. We would love to share this resource with you at the sale price, so download the link now.
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What is included in this resource?
How to write a personal mission statement, how to delegate more effectively, how calling and clarity support the vision, how to recruit and develop volunteers, and more. Your link will include The Well magazine, PDF’s, articles, live audio files, power point notes and more.
Session 1 – Calling and Clarity for Ministry Vision
Session 2 – Challenges of Student Ministry – Delegation, Volunteers and Student’s Busy Schedules
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PS – If you attended The Well, you already have access to this file. If you have trouble, contact us!