Part 2 of 3 part series. You can find part 1 HERE
In my last blog post I wrote about the changes in our kids lives due to the arrival of the iPhone in 2007. I posed the thought that student ministry isn’t like it used to be and doing student ministry the old way is not going to work with this and future generations.
I’m not saying these things to be Negative Ned. I’m saying these things because we have to get ahead of where student ministry is heading or student ministry will die off like a dinosaur.
Many of my fellow youth ministry friends will face a huge uphill battle because their church is so steeped in tradition that leadership and many adults in the church won’t be able to grasp that something has to change. They don’t like change. “Youth Group is always on Wednesday night. Sunday School is always on Sunday morning and Sunday night is Discipleship Training Union class.” If your church and church leadership isn’t willing to make needed changes then you need to pray, pray hard for your church and church leadership.
So what do we do?
Evaluate. What differences do you see in your youth group comparing today to several years ago? What has been the negative changes? What has been the positive changes? What would you say is your student ministry’s strengths? Weaknesses?
Plan. Study your students’ culture. Study your evaluation. Work together with your volunteers to come up with a strategy to do student ministry in an effective way. Plan it out and then tweak the plan along the way. Your volunteer team needs to be on board and their input is valuable to the success of your journey.
Cast the Vision. Take your evaluation and your plan along with your volunteers and sit down with church leadership and explain and talk through the changes in student’s today and let them know how they, as leadership, can be of assistance to you in making whatever necessary changes you need to make. Then cast the vision to the parents, then to the students.
Implement. After evaluating, planning and casting the vision it’s time to set a goal date to implement the plan. The changes you are making are new, they will take time to feel normal. Don’t scrap the plan after a few weeks. Give the plan time to take root and grow. Change is not easy for you, your volunteers and the church, but you must give it time. LeaderTreks has a great assessment the “Healthy Youth Ministry Assessment” this tool might be helpful as you evaluate and plan. I know it helped me immensely, also their product, Reset, was a game changer for me. For me Reset helped solidify the changes that needed to be made as a result of the health assessment. The coaching I received in Reset helped get my mind wrapped around what needed changing and move in the right direction. So consider some assessments and coaching along the way.
What will our student ministry look like in the future?
I’ll share my thoughts in part three.