youth worker, student ministry, youth ministry

How Change Happens

By Doug Franklin July 29, 2013

The new ministry year is here. We want to grow and see our youth ministries reach their potential. But honestly most ministries won’t change and they will be almost the same as last year. Many of us do the same thing year in and year out, we don’t know how to get out of the rut we are in.  Most likely, your skills have been growing, your understanding and relationships with students and parents are growing, so it just makes sense that your ministry should grow too.  But that won’t happen unless you’re intentional.  So what can we do to make change happen?  Here are three suggestions:

1.    Attach Critical Success Factors to Your Mission. 
Critical success factors are the most important things your youth ministry must do in order to accomplish the mission.  Every youth ministry has a different success factors, but here are some examples: establishing a student leadership team, developing adult staff into mentors, getting parents to buy in and serve in the ministry, etc.  So with your mission in mind, write down the five most important things that need to happen in your own youth ministry.

2.     Set Goals and Action Steps.
For each one of the critical success factors, create a goal that helps you accomplish that factor during the next ministry year.  And then create action steps that you want to take in order to reach that goal. Think of action steps this way:  You are on one side of a canyon and your goal is on the other side.  What are the planks (or action steps) that you need, in order to build a bridge that takes you to the across this canyon?

Critical success factor: More parent involvement in the youth ministry

Goal attached to that factor: 10 new parents serving in the ministry

Potential Action Steps: Start a parent newsletter.  Send a monthly parent update with specific ways parents can serve.  Hold a parent recruitment night, where veteran parents share their testimonies about serving in the youth ministry. Start a blog for current parent volunteers to share their experiences.  Start a parent prayer team.

3.     Cast The Vision.
First of all, realize that casting a vision is not explaining how we are going to fix last year’s problems.  Casting a vision is showing people the future.  Once you have your goals set, use the summer to plan unique ways you can share your goals and your vision throughout the fall.  You cannot accomplish your goals by yourself.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that there is a whole church behind you to help, so be careful not to keep this vision to yourself.  When we don’t cast the vision for our church, our volunteers and our students, we limit the impact to only as far as we can reach.  When we cast the vision regularly, the impact extends as far as a church can reach.  Always be thinking, how can I cast the vision?

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More