One of my favorite things we have done on our team in this season is every other week I have one of our youth leads teach our team something. It could be something they are passionate about or really good at and want to challenge the rest of the campuses on a topic. It’s been awesome and I thought I would post them here because it’s been so good.

Today’s post is brought to you by Scotty Keesee who leads youth at our Woodcrest campus.


As we begin to end 2020 and look into 2021 we can all agree this is not the best year we thought it would be. We have had to pivot and innovate in so many ways. All the former ways of student ministry went out the window as we had to navigate what it’s like to lead in the midst of a pandemic. For me, it made me take a step back to really think through what God where God was leading our student ministry at our campus. Over the years of doing student ministry I have done a few things on a yearly basis to anticipate where God is leading. It’s called the P.O.P.E. I’m not going to mention the Vatican but i will mention the things that have helped me pivot and plan well even in the midst of a pandemic and what I’ve already done looking into 2021. Hope this is a helpful tool you can use moving forward with you and your team as well. Here are the 4 things i have done as i look ahead in my ministry…

  • Prayer:

When was the last time you just spent time to stop and pray? When was the last time you prayed for your ministry? When was the last time you went before God and sought out His direction? We as youth leaders and pastors must take time to pray and seek what God is us to. Through these times of prayer I have been able to sense a burden that our community and students are facing. These times have allowed me to focus on what’s actually important and what our students need. For example, when COVID hit everything went digital. Church, school, video games, etc. Sports and clubs have been cancelled and students were forced into isolation. They wanted community. As I spent time praying I sought God’s direction in how to create an authentic community for students in the midst of a pandemic. 


Proverbs 3:5-6 says,Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” When we seek God, He makes our paths straight. When it comes to planning and strategizing we should always start with prayer. 


  • Outline: 

This is where you begin setting and writing down your goals from what you go during your time in prayer. For example, as our students needed community and felt that burden our goals were now all around creating community for our students. We should be proactive in taking care of the ministry that has been entrusted to each of us by planning well. 


Proverbs 27:23 says, Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds…” In other words, steward what you’ve been given well. Write down your goals. This will give you a target of what you’re aiming for. But when you write your goals begin to layer them. How will you accomplish your goals? If you want to reach 40 or 400 students in 2021 thats great but how will you reach that number of students? A good example would be recruiting new leaders, connecting with local schools, large outreach events, etc. God gave you a specific vision so structure your goals to what He has revealed to you. 


  • Preparation/Application: 

It’s one thing to have goals and have them outlined but it’s another to actually apply and take steps to accomplish those goals. I have written goals time and time again but never implement and look back and questions as to why I’mm where I’m at. We have to set times aside to prep and apply action steps to begin actually accomplishing our goals. Do you set time aside EACH week to plan and prep? Have you created the discipline to plan ahead so you can anticipate what’s coming? Start doing the things in your goals and not just have them written down. 

  • Empower:

As leaders we should not be doing this alone. Each and every one of us can find someone who is already on our team or someone who can join our team that we can begin to empower. Trust me, you will get more done when you begin to empower the people on your team. Our teams are filled with gifted people just like us who are just waiting to be asked for more responsibility. When we do it on our own we begin to be ineffective and will likely get exhausted and not achieve our goals that we set out for.


We see this with Moses as he is leading the Israelites. He tried it all on his own. He was spinning his wheels and then his father in law stepped in. 17Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.”


Even a hall of faith member couldn’t do it all on his own. He needed to empower those who were gifted around him to free him up to do what he was called to do. The same is true for you. Who can you begin to empower? How can you release some of your work so you can be freed up to do what God has called you to do?