I want to share a super brief youth ministry truth with you. Ready?
Your actions are determined by your desired outcome.
Let’s unpack this a little. This means:
- Your disciple-making actions (i.e., how you set up your programming, how you teach, etc.) are determined by what you desire to see in the spiritual lives of your students.
- The way you interact with your volunteers (i.e., how you recruit them, train them, empower them, etc.) will be determined by the way in which you envision them contributing to your ministry.
- The manner in which you engage with the parents of your students (i.e., how and what you communicate to them, how you involve them, etc.) will be determined by the role you envision them playing in your youth ministry.
- The way you plan your retreats (i.e., the speakers, the band, the theme, the schedule, etc.) is determined your desired outcome for the event. In other words, you act so that your retreat accomplishes what you want it to accomplish.
When we consider this concept, two things become immediately apparent.
First, it’s essential to define what you want to accomplish.
Too often we don’t start by envisioning our desired outcome. We don’t stop and consider, “What do I want to see in my students when they have passed through my ministry”? And because we don’t do this, we don’t engineer a framework to accomplish our goals. It’s vital that we DEFINE our outcomes and then act accordingly.
Second, we hit what we aim at.
If we don't aim at something, we won't hit it. See, in the absence of a stated outcome, we can't be sure that our actions will, by default, get us to where we want to go. If we don't have a clear idea of where we want to go, we have no way of evaluating or measuring the effectiveness of our actions. What happens is that we may get it right sometimes, but more often than not we're ineffective and inefficient. And I don't know about you, but I don't have time in my life to waste energy.
Do this exercise as a team (or by yourself if you don’t have a team, lol): Look at the different areas of your ministry and ask yourself, “What is our desired outcome in this specific area?” Then, evaluate your programs and methodology against that stated outcome. Look for gaps. Look for wasted or duplicated effort.
You can't get to where you're headed if you don't know where you want to go. That's true in life and ministry.
YM360 Co-Founder and Publisher, Andy Blanks, challenges you to consider where you want your Youth Ministry to go in the future.
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