///Signaling Change in Youth Ministry

Signaling Change in Youth Ministry

So we just made a huge change in our midweek program. Before I got here, both junior high and high school did everything together. They worshipped together, they played together and they were taught together. We are now 3 weeks into the new format where we are doing a hybrid version of they way it was and the way it is now. All students spend the first half of service together worshipping through music, playing games and going through announcements and then the junior high students break off into another room for their own teaching time and high school students get the same. It has been going awesome.

Since day one of this position this had been my intention but I did not happen for 6 months. This takes patience and planning. I know many of us want to change some big areas of ministry, especially if you are newer to the program. How do you go about changing something that has been around for a while? How do you go about a big change?

Signal to your leadership – Luckily for me, this big change was desired by my leadership. When I was hired on they explained to me that they would love to see change in the ministry and it was up to me to determine what that looked like. Having those who you report know what you are planning, wanting to do and thinking will only benefit you because chances are they do not like surprises.
Signal to your team – I started asking questions about why we did things the way that we did when I got there. I just wanted to understand why it was the way that it was. After a few months of doing things as it was, we started to make little changes. Then a few months ago I casted vision for what I feel the future needed to be and that we should all begin to ray what it would look like. Our team knew months before the actual change happened and I think it help eases the blow of something new and things are changing.
Signal to your volunteers – A month after our team discussed it, we had all our volunteers over and then we casted the vision to them (a month out from the change). We allowed them to ask questions, get excited, and to begin to pray about the big change as well.
Signal to your parents – A few weeks out we send out a parent newsletter letting our parents know about the changing coming up next month and explained in detail why, what and how this all was going to happen. The response was great!
Signal to your students – 2 weeks before the big change I got up at the end of the service and explain the why, what and how we are going to do this big switch up to our students and let them know if they had any questions they can ask us, our staff or volunteers because they all knew the plan and why we were going in this direction.

So far, the transition has been smoother than anything I could have asked for. Ministry is exciting and energy is high. Changes bring excitement but they also can bring fear and I feel if we signal correctly we are able to get rid of most of the fear and turn it into excitement for what they future brings.

@justinknowles3

By | 2015-02-10T17:06:03+00:00 February 10th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Justin Knowles has been a pastor for the last 10 years and is the Lead Student Ministries Pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley in San Dimas, CA. He oversees 7th-12th grade and has an amazing team he does it all with. He hosts The Other Student Ministry Podcast, loves to write about his ministry journey and teach at all kinds of camps. Him and his wife Kristin has a baby boy named Graham and a cat named CATalie Portman.

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