I used to paint houses when I was in college. At the time it was good pay but a lot of hard work. Getting to work at 6:30am and not finishing up until 6:30pm was brutal especially during those hot days. My main responsibility was to prep the walls. Basically that means sanding, spackling, scraping, wiping, washing, taping and laying down the tarp. I never appreciated this tedious work until I realized how important it is. If you want the best results on your walls all the work goes into prepping, not the painting. Paint distributors will try to fool you on this but it really comes into how well you prepare your walls.
I think we see how this principle transitions into student ministry; however, there are areas where it can easily be over sighted. Here are two questions to ask yourself to determine, “How prepared am I?”
- How are you walking into each opportunity? You need to know how you are going into a situation because if your heart is not in check, if your mind is not settled, how can you give the message, the activity, the song, or the student the attention he or she needs? Something we need tighten is prayer time before serving with our leaders. I’m not sure how all my leaders are walking into a night of ministry, but I know with prayer we can give them the opportunity to offer that up to God. You wouldn’t want something happening in your life to affect what you are doing in a negative way.
- How are you setting up the environment? Again this is common sense, but I’ve walked into a series of youth events where the place is dirty, trashed, things aren’t fully put away. Irresistible environments, create an atmosphere where the students are engaged and growing.
I know there are more questions to ask ourselves, but really the best way to be prepared is to find accountability and a team to whom you can delegate responsibilities. Praying together, communicating before, during and after a ministry night is key.
What’s something you do to better prepare for a ministry event?