How do we leave a youth ministry better than we found it?
An interesting question and the answer depends on how you found the youth ministry. If you are following a high-personality youth minister then it might be difficult (but it can be done) or if you follow a youth minister who had a bad experience then it might be easy. This is a quick post because this seems like a no-brainer to me. Five quick ways (4 if you are single) to ensure your ministry will be better than you found it.
- From the very first day make sure you serve as humbly as you can. Really bro…the ministry is not about you or a personality and contrary to your amazing God-given talents (not being sarcastic) the ministry will survive with or without you. Churches move on and so do youth ministers. You want to leave a youth ministry better than you found it. Make sure it is saturated with an outpouring of humility.
- Empower parents every step of the way and make sure they are as involved as possible. you are dealing with their kids and they just might have insight as to how to effectively minister to their children. They are your warriors when you need something done and they are your backbone when you don’t have the strength to attend another event. If you want to quickly ruin your ministry then start doing things yourself and don’t involve anyone. You will burn out, fizzle, and the kids and the entire church will suffer. But on the bright side you will make it easier for the next guy to be successful.
- Make this a student-led ministry. You don’t have to have some fancy name for leadership among your teens just make sure you do it on purpose and do it often. Find new and exciting ways to let the students lead trips, programs, bible studies or anything in between.
- Bathe yourself in the spiritual disciplines. Prayer, study, meditation, service, accountability, confession, discernment and others all serve as tools to help you grow closer to God. I sometimes struggle with depression and there are times that I get so down I find myself doubting my ministry, my calling and God’s purposes in my life. Spiritual formation helps me get my feet on the ground. So does something else…
- If you are married and have children, make them a priority not the church or your job. There is always going to be a text message, a Facebook post, a bible lesson, a teenage girl drama crises that needs your attention. You only have one shot a raising your children. You only have one shot at developing your marriage. When you say no to things at church because family is important more times than naught they will look at you and realize you are a man of purpose who loves his wife and his children. They too will hopefully do the same in their marriage and be examples to further generations. Why? Because you said no to that “important meeting” that you were required to go to but instead you chose to go to Wal-Mart with your wife and kids ;)!!!
Those are five. what would you add?