youth ministry, youth worker

What Matters Most

By Doug Franklin April 29, 2013

There is so much going on in our lives. The busyness can make us think we are doing all the right things, but before you know it we are off course. Usually we think we need to improve what we are doing, quickly forgetting “why” we are doing it. Soon we are doing for doing’s sake.

To get back on course, trying asking yourself the following question. What are the actions and activities that will make the biggest differences in the lives of our students? This is an important question, right? I mean, you didn’t just plan your ministry year without thinking this through. You would never just do the same activities you did last year because that’s what you always do, right? I admit that’s what I did. When I was an active youth pastor I often did what I did last year because I got comfortable with the schedule. This would get me off course fast. I wish I had spent more time thinking through what is most important. If I had, this is what I would have come up with…

1. Relationships over responsibility
Students, parents and volunteers would always come first.

2. Spending time loving on my adult volunteers
I would get to know my volunteers like friends. I would use my friendship to help them grow in Christ and grow in their ministry.

3. Building bonds with parents
I would help parents be the primary faith influencers of their students.

4. Evaluating the effectiveness of small groups
I would visit as many small groups as often as I can, so I could offer evaluation to help the volunteer leader grow.

5. Pouring my passion into adult volunteers
I would use my love for students to fuel my volunteers with energy by being an example of love and friendship.

6. Purpose over preference
Honestly, we did a lot of activities that I liked. Often times this meant outside activities that included competition sports. There were many students in my ministry that would love to do more creative things but I didn’t want to, so we didn’t. Huge mistake. When we put our students first, our ministry will change and students will know the difference.

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