I’m a fan of Strength Finder tests. I don’t think they are the most comprehensive approach to who we are as leaders but every time I’ve take one it’s unique to see what stands out. One of those traits has always been a learner. I like to learn, process & apply ideas and strategies. As with youth ministry we as youth workers have a great setting that allows us to test a lot of different strategies and implement what’ll work the best for our unique setting, church setting & micro-culture of students.

A truth is when we implement something it is usually because something else wasn’t working. I know for me there are times where removing or altering with an aspect of a program be it large group, small groups, specific events, leadership development or anything else. If I’m able to see it at a deeper level I need to see if the Gospel is really the foundation it moves out of.

I’ll confess that I find it easy for myself as a youth worker to think strategy & implementation of ideas and forget that when we cast a net too wide trying to tackle to many things we are not able to always keep a clear communication as to how the Gospel bleeds out of what we are doing.

A simple question we ask student leaders & adult leaders is “How does this

[program element] reflect the Gospel clearly?”. It’s interesting to always here the feedback as well as the discussion that follows as these become prime team collaboration time to be sure the main thing stays the main thing.

There is also a deeper truth that is revealed in these moments about my role & leadership. If people are unclear as to why a certain program element matters and how it helps us further a gospel living mindset in students then I’ve done a poor job communicating and leading that fact.

What if you dug into a variety of ministry components in your ministry? Would you see the gospel as a foundation or a sidepiece? When was the last time you asked key leaders to help you evaluate part of the ministry using the filter of “How is the Gospel reflected clearly for students in this?”.

Danny Bowers oversees the student ministries at Mission Hills Church in Mission Viejo, California. Follow his blog and catch up with his Tweets, too.