I wonder what would happen if I quit tomorrow? Not that I would but I do wonder when it’s time to hang up my youth ministry hat, what will happen to the ministry that I’ve poured my blood, sweat and tears into. It’s a sad thought because I love what I do, but it is something we have to think about. After all we aren’t here forever, so what makes us think that would happen at our church. But, anyway, back to the question, “What would happen to the ministry?” I would like to think that:
It Would Be Better Off
Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not being self-critical, in fact I give myself an A (an A+ would be too vain) in youth ministry. However, I know that if the ministry I lead is built around me it will crumble in my absence. Not because of how great I am, but because of how self centered.
In order to guarantee a successful ministry years after you are gone, you need to:
- Create a Culture of Change – You don’t want too much change in your ministry because that can mean instability. A healthy culture of change means having systems (not programs) that are focused on the vision and core values; however, they have flexibility to adapt with the culture. A good example of this would be the system you have your small groups. “Do they always have to meet 9pm on Wednesdays at the church?”
- Emphasize Investment – If you aren’t looking to the future, then you’ll find yourself stuck. We need to teach our ministers not just to serve but invest in the next generation. They can do this by inviting more ministers to serve, tithing their finances and showing the families (not just the student) that they are in it for the long haul. Constant communication with family and the willingness to be there is a value that can be passed on.
- Replace Yourself – Even before you think about leaving you should replace yourself. You should replace yourself in the areas you are least effective. What you need to do is replace yourself in some of the training and decision making you do in your ministry. Basically, you want to work yourself out of a job and you’ll do that by giving people your everyday roles.
Basically, we need to constantly be serving with humility and compassion. Without those things we build ego boosting ministries and those don’t last very long. If you can pass off responsibility and vision to your ministry team and invest in the next generation with your time and monty then there’s not telling how God will bless your ministry.
What’s your biggest fear about leaving ministry?
What are the steps you take in order to create a successful ministry?