So I just got back from vacation. I won’t lie to you, it was awesome.
When you can get away for a bit, it allows you to step back from the in the trenches ministry and take a look at the ministry in which you are in day in and day out. I think it allows you to begin to work ON your ministry rather than IN your ministry for a bit. The people I work with make fun of me because whenever I come back I send out emails and questions to them about our ministry and we begin to re-evaluate things. It’s a good thing.
For many youth groups, routine reigns.
Now I do think there is a great thing for there to be a routine in the services in which we put on for our students. I think in an ever-changing world and students who are changing themselves, routine and consistency can be a very good thing because they know that the youth group is there for them, there are leaders there who will care about them and they have a place to look forward to going.
I do, however, think routine can begin to kill a youth ministry program. Just like anything else we are involved with that is the same thing over and over again, people tune out. I think it’s the same in our groups. When you don’t get away I think it allows you to fall into this system of routine and not get out to really take a good look at what you are providing for students to see if there is something you can do better to reach the students in your care.
So I like to ask some probing questions to the team in which I do ministry with to get the juices flowing on what is the next step in order to keep growing our ministry numerically, emotional health for our leaders and spiritual growth for our students.
I challenge every leader to ask similar questions in regards to their ministry because you would be surprised what people have to say and you could be surprised of what could come out of it to help take your ministry to the next level.
What should be our OKR’s for this year? What should be the next thing we take, improve, start?
- At our church, we use OKR’s (Objectives and Key Results) to help us set goals in our ministries. We had OKR’s that we set last year and we hit them so we now have to relook at our ministry and determine where we want to go next by setting new OKR’s so we can continue to see God move in our ministry. If you don’t have measurable goals how do you know if you are successful? To give you an example, here were our OKR’s this last year:
- #1: Increase our volunteer team to 90 adults.
- #2: Have 65% of our midweek attendance in small groups.
- #3: Have 150 of our students serving somewhere regularly.
What specifically can you be doing to help reach the next level in your area in the new year in the area in which you oversee?
- This question can be asked if you work on a team or if you have a team of volunteers. This allows your people to begin to think critically about how and where they are serving and they can have a voice in the direction of the ministry. If you are the only one giving input in the direction of the ministry, I think you are missing out on some major insight and direction.
Is your workload ok? Do you feel good with what you have now? Do you want more? Less? Why?
- I think this is an important question. Hopefully, you have developed a culture or honesty and candor so people can be real to make this question truly effective. I love this questions because it allows people to be real with the expectations you have for them in regards to leading and running services or groups. What I have found in a lot of cases, volunteers are often underutilized and actually can and want more. This question is fun one and it could potentially unleash some great leaders to do more.
What is one thing (if any) that we should consider killing in the new year? What is one thing (if any) we should consider starting or re-doing?
- All sacred cows should die… unless it is still effective towards your goals. The line of, “Well this is how we always have done it” should be removed from any ministry leaders vocabulary. So what is that thing in your ministry that should be done but it is not done? Maybe it doesn’t need to die but it needs a major facelift. What is the thing that you are doing now in which, if re-vamped, could be even more effective but you have not done it because you have been in the routine mode? These questions also allow the people you do ministry with to dream a bit and they all could be thinking the same thing and could give you insight on what you could be working on in the new year.
These questions are something we are going through right now in our ministry. The conversations have already been great and I think they could be something great for your ministry as well as we enter into the new year.