You only have so much time. With all the possibilities, directions and ideas that come to our attention in a variety of ways, let’s step back and sharpen the plan for the coming calendar year. Use this downtime to focus on key areas that will make the most impact and bring about fruit.
If you need a place to focus in your youth ministry, here are three ideas: 1) helpful holy teaching 2) long term loving adults 3) meaningful ministry opportunities.
Helpful Holy Teaching
Teaching can come in lots of forms, but it must be something that will help students. Chart your course for the next few months of the New Year. Seek the Lord’s direction of what the students in your ministry need to learn, hear and experience. Then, make some plans for ideas, themes and topics that you might want to cover (January: holy disciplines and habits, February: healthy relationships, friendships and the power in unconditional Christ like love, March: missions and preparations for the summer ministry together, etc.). Once you have an idea for what you need to accomplish, you can begin to look for resource, books, ideas, articles and possible guest leaders to help in accomplishing your goal.
Long Term Loving Adults
Developing adult leaders for your team isn’t something you do only once. It’s a constant goal to invite, encourage and equip adults in your congregation for the work of “discipling the next generation”. Find times and places for adults to participate in the life of the youth ministry. Partner with other passionate leaders in your church for a greater impact on the life of the students. Provide short term openings for people to get their feet wet in the ministry. Share the mission and goal of youth ministry anytime you can. I hear over and over from veteran youth leaders that the number one they thing they would do if starting a new ministry would be to spend a large portion of their time recruiting an adult team, casting a vision to an adult team, equipping an adult team and encouraging an adult team for the work of the ministry. The investment in these adults will provide lots of fruit as they begin to communicate and care for kids and use their gifts for ministry (administrative, hospitality, media, etc). January is a good time to begin.
Meaningful Ministry Opportunities
Students will have a better chance of staying connected if they are growing in their gifts, faith, and ministries. Have you identified some places that students can plug in the youth ministry leadership, service? Are there places in your church life that allow students opportunities to use their gifts? Have you been planning ways for the students to get involved in local missions? Dream about ways that students can get connected and build a framework that allows for easy access for them to get started.