I got an email from a parent I had never met with the title YOUR PROGRAM. I wanted to hide from it, because I assumed, “This is going to be bad.”
I opened it and on the other end was praise and thanks for the way we had impacted her daughter. I love feedback like that. I wish all feedback was like that.
If all feedback was positive we wouldn’t mind it so much. That’s just not the reality. There will be times when people are critical and it can hurt.
Positive or negative we need feedback because it helps us as a leader. It’s got power to move and change your ministry because it:
I didn’t always get it right. For many years I just needed bodies. I wasn’t looking for the right people or a solid community. I just needed numbers. While filling up holes in your ministry team is important, it’s not as important as building the core.
Last night we rallied our leaders together to kickoff another season of youth ministry. I love these events because they not only get the year started right, they are also a chance to invest in your ministry core.
10 years ago today I walked into Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as the Middle School Youth Minister. Today I’m still at the same church and I oversee all youth ministry programs. I feel blessed to have last this long, but it hasn’t always been easy.
To last in youth ministry is not easy. To last the long haul you need the right systems and strategies. You need the right leadership and vision. While there are dozens of the things that I’ve learned the last 10 years there are 6 that stick out. I learned:
Should you have to work weekends to run a healthy youth ministry? YES. I didn’t always think that way because I didn’t want to think that way. I wanted to sleep in on Sundays. I wanted to watch football and hangout. That’s the problem it was about me.
For your youth ministry to be successful. For your parish to succeed it needs the youth minister there on the weekend. More specifically you need to be there when Mass or services are occurring.
If your family attends a separate parish you need to have the hard conversation about switching because believe it or not your presence matters. Why? Because it says so much and it affects your churches health. By working on the weekends you are able to:
“How could they mess this up?” I had sent my volunteers the link for the game, but none of them came prepared. There I was bailing them out once again. Then it dawned on me, “I don’t think I told them to do anything more than check the link out.”
It is frustrating when it feels like your volunteers are just not getting it. You think about all the reasons why they aren’t meeting expectations, when the reality the reason could be you. Before you blame your volunteers for being incompetent, complacent or disloyal, ask yourself whether or not you have: