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 for me), this is the front door to the ministry you lead. It is the first experience many of your students will have in your church. It’s here where many students will be exposed to the Gospel and will see what Jesus can do in their lives.
There are so many different methods, thoughts, strategies, plans on how to reach students with large-group programming. We are not claiming to know it all, but we do know some. I know if you have an evangelistic heart, you have a desire to see the students who call your church “home” be challenged by God’s word; but also you want it to be a place where students who are far from God can come near to God. If this is you, then you know that the large-group setting is a huge deal.
Figuring out the look, feel, and experience for your midweek/weekend service is hugely important. When I came into my current 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. People love the old way. Students like the things they used to do. Changes sometimes are not very popular. But to make the program fit a new vision, you will have to change things.
Want to make a change in your ministry? Get ready! There is a ton of things that come along 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 slowly and fights hard. People get comfortable with the status quo, and change ruffles feathers. Just know it will be a fight.
You may be passionate, but that doesn’t mean others will be.
There have been times in my life where I get really excited about certain things, but 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 communicates clear vision, so others can effectively see the direction you want them to go.
You have to be 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, that’s probably the moment when your team is just 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 do that. 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.