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Evaluating Your Youth Ministry via ESPN

Evaluating Your Youth Ministry via ESPN

I was listening to Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio Monday morning on the way to work. They were recapping Sunday’s NFL games when they brought on NFL analyst Ron Jaworski. “Jaws” said something that I thought was pretty interesting. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized it’s a great way of not only analyzing a football game, but analyzing our youth ministries as well. 

I forgot which team he was referring to, but in speaking of the winning team’s key to success Jaworski said this (I’m paraphrasing): 

The overall outcome of the game is the product of individuals winning their matchups. 

Jaworski saw the success of the team as a product of individuals players successfully carrying out their personal responsibilities. Offensive lineman blocking the person front of them. The quarterback successfully completing “X” percentage of his passes. An individual receiver beating a defender by sharply running the correct route for the correct play. And so on.

I've always been a sucker for this type of analysis by deconstruction, whether analyzing an organization or a passage of Scripture. And I think this lens is a beneficial one when it comes to looking at the health of our ministry as a whole. It's the old “The sum is equal to the whole of its parts” theory at work.

We could take this concept and apply it to many different areas: your teaching, your programming, your training, etc. But, what I liked about Jaworski’s analysis is that it tied the outcome of a football game to individual people. In that vein, I want to focus our questioning on relationships among the people in your ministries. 

It starts with embracing the idea that your youth ministry is only as strong as the sum total of the many different relationships you have. I’m going to list these relationships in a sort of makeshift formula. What I’d love for you to do is to read the following statements and personally react to them. Ask yourself:

  • When you read them, what does it make you feel like? 
  • Which areas are your strengths? 
  • What do you need to work on? 
  • What areas can you lead others to improve in?  

 Here we go . . . 


It’s vital that we regularly step back and evaluate our youth ministries.

Hopefully, this was a new way to help you think about areas in which you and others can improve in.


About The Author

Andy Blanks

Andy Blanks

Andy Blanks is the Publisher and Co-Founder of YM360 and Iron Hill Press. A former Marine, Andy has spent the last 17 years working in youth ministry, mostly in the field of publishing. During that time, Andy has led the development of some of the most-used Bible study curriculum and discipleship resources in the country. He has authored numerous books, Bible studies, and articles, and regularly speaks at events and conferences, both for adults and teenagers. Andy and his wife, Brendt, were married in 2000. They have four children: three girls and one boy.