Early on in my ministry when the attendance numbers would drop I wondered, “When am I going to make it?” I was working out of frustration because my expectations of success weren’t being met.
Success has so many more signs than attendance numbers. It’s more than awards and public praise. And success doesn’t signify that you’ve made it to a point where you can sit back and relax. Success in youth ministry means:
GOALS ARE BEING REACHED
The only way to know whether or not you are moving in the right direction is to have a vision, a plan and goals to serve as mile markers. To have healthy goals you need to make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound for more go HERE).
Be sure to set time aside on a regular basis (2-4 times a year) to revisit your vision and look at your goals. Every time you reach a goal make sure it’s analyzed and celebrated.
MORE PEOPLE ARE SIGNING UP TO SERVE
People want to be a part of a winning team. They will see that something (even if they don’t know what it is) is happening in your ministry. To help them see the wins you need to clarify them.
Make sure your ministry has a clear vision. Every story of life change, impact or significance happens share it in newsletters, social media and your pastor.
BURNOUT IS A REALITY BUT NOT A THREAT
You will have moments of despair and hardship, even if your ministry is healthy. Burnout is a reality, but you can prevent it from being the reason you walkaway by:
- Maintaining healthy boundaries.
- Working on your personal faith journey.
- Building a support network.
- Making professional development a priority.
You know you are in a good place when you know that work will have it’s difficult seasons and they are only temporary.
WORRY, JEALOUSY AND PRIDE MELT AWAY
Confidence is key to this job. You need confidence in your team, your strategy and most importantly God. When you are secure with what you do you:
- Won’t worry about what others are saying or doing.
- Know that criticism is a part of the job.
- Will be okay with people having different approaches to ministry.
- Will remember it’s not about you, but something bigger and greater.
Granted there will be seasons of doubt and times when you are tempted to mistrust God, but you will identify those feelings immediately and tackle them appropriately.
NEW LEADERS BEGIN TO EMERGE
A healthy youth ministry has men and women who are willing to step up and lead. As the leader of that ministry you should be able to find people willing to take the reigns.
There will be a point when you can’t take the ministry any further, that’s when you need to have people ready to take your place. You know you’ve arrived when you can identify those people, even if it isn’t your time.
How do you know you’ve arrived? You know that there is always work to be done. Youth ministry is a movement and to keep it going you need to remember to continue to grow, learn and listen to God’s calling.
Question: What are some other signs of a healthy youth ministry? You can leave a comment by clicking here.