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What In Your Youth Ministry Do You Need To Say Goodbye To?

What In Your Youth Ministry Do You Need To Say Goodbye To?

Microsoft announced this week that, moving forward, its venerable (and almost universally reviled) Internet browser, Internet Explorer, will no longer be the default browser on its Windows software. This signals the eventual death of one of the core offerings of Microsoft. IE has been the default web browser on all Windows platforms since 1995. Between 2002 and 2003, something like 95% of Internet users logged on using IE. When Firefox and Chrome came on the scene in '04 and '08 respectively, IE's dominance began to seriously decline. Since then, Apple's OSLinux, and mobile browsers like iOS and Android made IE almost absolete (thought not as obsolete as some tech writers would have you believe).

Here's the question for us as youth workers: What is your Internet Explorer? What is that program, or initiative, or activity that used to be awesome, but has long since lost its buzz?

There are people who will say that Microsoft should have killed IE long ago. There are others who will point to the millions of users still using it to access the web. Regardless, the point for us is a valuable one. Times change. What was exciting and fresh and innovative a few years ago may be tired and lackluster today.

Internet Explorer still works. You can still log on to the web. But the overall user experience and functionality has been surpassed by other browsers.

My bet is that many of us have things we're doing in our youth ministries that may still be functional. But they are not optimal. There's a big difference.

Here is a challenge for you today: evaluate what you do in your ministry. Think of your programs. Think of your behaviors. Think of your practices. And don't ask if they are functioning. Ask if they are optimal. Ask if they are the best you can make them. And if they are not, say goodbye to them. (Or at least, be willing to radically change them.)

My hunch is that there were people within Microsoft that didn't want to go away from IE. My hunch is that there are also users who didn't want to change, either. Change isn't easy. But when it's time for a change, it is far more costly to continue down the same tired path than to embrace the adventure of a new direction.

What do you need to say goodbye to in your ministry?


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.