A few years back we would kickoff the year with a huge party. Moon bounces, lots of music and tons of free food would attract dozens of teens. I would always feel good about the turnout, waking up the next day as if I conquered youth ministry. Teens were coming and they said they had a good time, what was there to worry about? Big mistake, over the next few weeks attendance dwindled. The problem? I never followed through.
It’s easy to follow through on failure. You want to know why something didn’t work and what you can do to remedy it. The problem with succeeding is that it’s easy to assume that it will naturally repeat itself. When it comes to youth ministry you cannot guarantee anything because it deals with teens and relationships. Both are messy and can be unpredictable. To stay ahead of the curve and better your odds of succeeding over and over again you need a plan to follow through, especially when it comes to:
- Your Promises: One of the worst things you can do in ministry is over promise and under deliver. That doesn’t mean setting low expectations, it means not promising the moon and the stars. To follow through on your promises know what you can handle and what’s too much. That means embracing your limits and trusting God. Granted you want to build hype on your programs; however, if people feel lied to, you’ll lose their trust.
- Someone New: It’s easy to assume that if someone shows up once, and says that they had a good time, that they’ll return. The problem is you don’t know what distractions take during the week. Take the time to follow up and give that new student or volunteer a call. Thank them for coming, let them know you are praying for them and hope they’ll return. Even if they do not return they’ll know that you did care that they were present.
- The Bottom Line Of Your Message: You might have given the most memorable message of your entire life; but, guess what? Chances are people will forget your message because again a lot goes on during the week. Wait a day or two after your last encounter with the students, shoot out an email blast, tweet, or post that reminds them of the bottom line. The more you repeat your message the better it has a chance of sticking.
- The Vision: Coming up with a vision statement is one things; however, making it spread is an entirely different process. Follow through on the vision you have for your ministry by revisiting it, tweaking and sharing it over and over again. The more your vision is repeated and revisited the more likely you’ll reach it. Embrace it.
The way you follow through in your ministry is essential to it’s growth. That means taking on the chaos, never leaving anything up to assumption. The more you follow through, the more you track and the more you track, the more you’ll see it grow and go deeper.
Where do you struggle to follow through in your ministry?