The weekend service.
The large group.
It’s the never ending, never full beast that requires a ton of time and attention from you. Whether it’s weekly, monthly or every once in a while, there is ALWAYS a program to be planned and executed. For many, I know it is to me, this is the front door to the ministry in which you lead. It is the first experience many of your students will see when it comes to your church. It’s here were many students will be exposed to the Gospel and will see what Jesus can do in their lives.
There are so many different ways, thoughts, strategies, plans on how to reach students with the large group programming. We are not claiming to know it all, but we do know some. I know if you have a evangelistic heart, your desire to see the students who call your church “home” to be challenge by God’s word, but also have it be a place where students who are far from God can come near to God, then you know that the large group setting is a huge deal.
Figuring out how your look, feel and experience for your midweek/weekend service is hugely important. When I came into my new role, one of the first things I looked at and began to evaluate was our large group gathering. There were some things that needed to change.
Change is tough. Especially when you are the new guy. People love the old way. Students like the things they used to do and change sometimes is not very popular. But in order to make the program fit under your new vision, you will have to change things.
Want to make a change in your ministry? Get ready! There are a ton of things that come a long with changing something in your ministry, some great things and some challenging things.
It’s an uphill battle.
If there is a certain culture or thing that has been going on in your ministry and you want to change it, know that it is going to be an uphill battle. Programs can be easy to kill but a culture dies slow and fights hard. People get comfortable with status quo and change ruffles feathers. Just know it will be a fight.
Just because you are passionate doesn’t mean others will be.
There have been things in life where I get really excited about certain things and when I tell others they are not nearly as excited, as I want them to be. If you want to lead a shift, you need to get others passionate about your vision and start to help them see it like you do. You have to be a passionate leader who lays clear vision so others can effectively see the direction you want them to go.
You have to a broken record.
Some of the greatest advice I have ever heard when it comes to casting a vision for change was: “When you start to feel like a broken record because you repeat the vision over and over is probably the moment when your team is just now beginning to process the vision in general.” We have to be willing to be vocal and be consistent at it. A culture shift will take time.
We can’t change people.
Only Jesus can. If we feel God is leading our ministry one way and we are seeking after Him and wanting to do what we feel he is calling us to do, the best first step is prayer. Pray for clear vision. Pray for clear communication. Pray for your team and their hearts. Pray for your ministry and your student’s hearts. If it is where God wants you to go He will begin to change the hearts of the people. Warning: this could take time.
It’s worth it.
The uphill battle, the vision casting, sounding like a broken record, the hard work, the sacrifice, the constant conversations, the struggles, the fights, the hard conversations, the yelling, the praying, the struggle is all worth it if it is going to produce better disciples of Jesus in the end.
I remember walking into my first Wednesday night with my new group and looking around and I remember that I wanted to walk back out of the door. I felt like I was thrown into a lion’s den, the students were running around, there was no one paying attention, and the service was mediocre. Yes, God’s word was being taught, but the service was not set up well for them to hear it.
It was completely insider focused, full of terms in which only students who called our church home knew what they were talking about. If you were walk in from the outside you would think they were speaking a whole other language. For programming our large group services, we need have the “non-churched” students in mind. Once a “non-churched” student is engaged within the service and start attending, they become a part of your crowd.
Once they are a part of your crowd, then the work can begin!