So your youth ministry is a mess.
Maybe you’re just started as a youth leader and you’ve inherited someone else’s mess. Maybe you’ve been too busy because you also had a ‘real job’ to take care of many things in your ministry. Maybe you’ve been sick or have let things slide for other personal reasons.
Whatever the reason, you find yourself in a mess in your youth ministry and you don’t know where to start. Here’s what to do: always start with the quick wins.
Nobody likes cleaning up a mess, but if you’re responsible it’s your job unfortunately. But you’re not the only one who dislikes the state of your youth ministry. Chances are a lot of your volunteers are pretty fed up as well. So start with the quick wins.
Here’s what you need to do:
Talk to everyone
As soon as you realize your youth ministry is a mess, start talking to everyone involved. Just make appointments for half an hour-conversations. Ask everyone the same question: what three things are bothering you the most right now?
After they have answered your question, promise them results. Be honest and realistic about what they can expect, not everything may be sorted out within a month. Also make sure they understand that you won’t be able to fix everything and that you won’t necessarily give priority to what they think is important. But they should know that you intend to do something about the mess.
Identify quick wins and fix them
After you have talked to everyone, make a list of the issues most often mentioned. These are the ones you should focus on. Now identify a few on this list that are easy to fix and fix them right away. Maybe the light bulb in the ladies’ room is broken, maybe there’s a broken window in the youth room, or maybe two volunteers aren’t on the prayer list. Easy things to remedy, so fix them right away.
Fixing these quick wins will not only gain you valuable goodwill from your volunteers, but it will also help you see light at the end of the tunnel in cleaning up the mess.
Once you’ve fixed all the quick wins, you can continue with the other priority items, but you will have seen some real improvements already. It’s the first step in changing your mess of a youth ministry into a well-oiled, smooth, perfectly-run ministry…yeah, like that’s ever gonna happen!
Have you ever found yourself in a messy youth ministry? How and where did you start?