It bothers us a little bit when teens pick another youth ministry program over ours. We feel a little bit of frustration and even jealousy. We wonder, “What do they have that I don’t?”
You can’t control a teenager’s choice and in reality your ministry can’t be ideal for everyone. The more you try to get everyone, the more frustration you’ll feel.
What you need to do is discover your niche. You need to know how your ministry can have the biggest impact in your community. That means:
KNOWING YOUR LIMITATIONS
Knowing your limitations means knowing your budget, and understanding your space. It involves looking at your community and know what competes for the teen’s time and attention.
When you know the limitations you know the box you have to start thinking outside of for ideas. Don’t complain about them instead embrace them.
ASKING GOD FOR CLEARER VISION
Just as God has created you with unique gifts and talents, He’s given your youth ministry a unique purpose. The only way you’ll know what that is by asking Him.
Spend time asking God, “What is it you want me to do in this community?” It might take fasting, journaling or praying with a team to get your answer.
LOOKING AT THE CHALLENGES THAT FACE YOUR COMMUNITY
The reason you exist is not to entertain the next generation but to help them grow. Look at the obstacles that are preventing them from growing. Gather a team of adults who know the community and can share with you the challenges that people face. In the end you’ll design a stronger ministry.
SACRIFICING GOOD FOR GREAT
When you try to reach everyone you’ll try to do everything. Some of those things will be a complete waste of your time. And then some of those things will good, but they’ll stand in the way of you doing the great things.
Cut programs, events or experiences that hold you back from living out the vision that God has for your ministry. You might worry about people’s pushback. But, in the long run you’ll benefit. In the end you’ll get further faster because nothing will hold you back.
PARTNERING WITH OTHER CHURCHES
Because you cannot be everything to all people you need to network with those around you. Reach out to neighboring churches and ask, “What do you offer that we don’t?”
Knowing the answer to this question will help you redirect teens to the best church community possible for them. It might seem odd to refer teens to a different church, but it’s about helping them grow in Christ, isn’t it?
When you know why your youth ministry exists it will bring clarity to your decisions. It will help you persevere through the desert periods. Knowing your niche will help you have a greater impact on the community you serve.
What’s your niche in youth ministry?