We’re always desiring more. We want more volunteers. We want more money for our budget. We want more teens to show up to program. While there is nothing wrong with wanting more it’s important to embrace your limits.
It can be frustrating not to have what you want. It would be great to have it all, but there isn’t a ministry that does HAVE IT ALL. To succeed and thrive with what you have it’s important to:
You are limited, even as a leader. That means you can only take your ministry so far on your own. No one likes to feel limited; however, it can be freeing to know that you can’t do this on your own.
Once you embrace the fact that you need a team it’s about finding the right people. With the right people you will be able to reach more students and have a larger impact on the community around you. That’s why you need a:
You want to reach more teens. In fact you need to reach more teens. You feel that burden and it’s painful because you believe in order to reach more you need to do more.
But, the truth is to do more you need to figure out how to do less yourself. That means discipline and understanding that:
I remember my predecessor showing me his youth ministry calendar. Without thinking I remarked, “How is your wife still married to you?” Every single weekend was booked with lock-ins, laser tag and other youth events. It was insane.
When Jesus commissioned the disciples to go into the world he didn’t say, “Go, and plan the most epic game of dodgeball.” He said, “Go and make disciples.” We know that, but the pressure to plan events is a reality for so many youth ministers.
Whenever a youth minister or pastor asks for advice about growing their youth ministry I ask them, “What does your middle school ministry look like?” The responses will vary from, “I don’t know.” to “We don’t have one.”
Many times (Especially in the Catholic church) middle school ministry is an afterthought. It’s lumped into Children’s Ministry or Religious Education. No one wants to own it because no one really knows what to do with it.