As I wind down my last week and a half as youth pastor at our church I think about the changes ahead but I also have my replacement, Ramon, on my mind. Ramon has been serving on our volunteer team for at least ten or eleven years. So as I turn my attention to new areas in our church I have total confidence in Ramon’s ability to lead the student ministry.
So these are the words of advice I gave Ramon as we head into this transition:

People above tasks – What we do is not as important as who we are ministering to and with.

Invest in your volunteers – Your team has greater impact on more students than you can alone.

Minister to your volunteers – Pastor your volunteers as they shepherd the students.

Plan and Calendar – Weekly look at what’s happening next week, this month, next month and the big events you have coming in the year. To do list with due dates, these are your friends, love them and spend time with them.

Prayer and quiet time – You can’t lead spiritually if you aren’t where you need to be spiritually. Allow God time to speak to your heart.

Seek God’s vision – The direction of the student ministry should be in sync with the direction of the church. What is God’s vision for the student ministry?

Build on purpose – Lots of people have “great ideas” for the student ministry. Only do what fits in the purpose of the church.

Be strategic, minimize, simplify – People have busy lives and have little time to spare. Make sure that the time with and for students will have the most impact.

Encourage discipleship – Discipleship is not a program. Discipleship happens one on one. Discipleship will bring health to the student ministry as students.

Balance – Your family is your priority and your time is valuable.

You are the Minister to Students – I expect changes and that doesn’t bother me. Do what you know God is leading you to do. I support you.

Call me – I’m available to bounce off ideas, ask questions, or vent. I like coffee time.