I’m a little worried because I have a lot of junk in my office and rumor has it we’ll be doing a little office reshuffling this summer. To prepare for this situation I’ve begun tossing stuff and getting rid of junk…but what quantifies as junk and stuff is a little difficult. I’m no pack rat, just a youth minister and as many of us know stuff and junk comes our way.
Sometimes the stuff and junk we acquire isn’t a thing, but an event, program or minister. When it comes to something larger than a book or rubber band ball it gets a little more difficult to say goodbye. Now why would we need to say goodbye? Because it’s preventing growth. To get rid of something can be difficult; therefore, we need to be sure what to eliminate and what to keep. Here are three questions that will help you find that answer:
- Does it fulfill the vision and mission? This should be as simple as revisiting your vision and mission statement. You shouldn’t run an event or program because so and so’s church is running the event. Everything needs a purpose and it should flow from the vision and mission of your ministry and church.
- Does the labor outweigh the fruit? If the costs outweigh the benefits you are on your way to a slow death in student ministry. I’m not saying things should be easy, but they shouldn’t exhaust you or your resources. Sometimes the results from our hard work might not come right away, that’s where you need to be prudent and measure out some goals.
- Where’s the emotional attachment? You need to examine your heart and see why it is you are still keeping around that exhausting program. Are you worried what others will think? Are you afraid of the change? If the emotion is controlling the decision you might want to seek insight and truth from people you trust to speak the brutal facts. Sometimes the challenge to getting rid of the junk and stuff in our ministries is due to deep seeded emotions.
Getting rid of an event and eliminating a program can be difficult because it means change. Change means stepping out of your comfort zone. Change means thinking differently than you have before. As I mentioned before sometimes the thing you need to eliminate is actually a person, but I felt that goes a little deeper than events and programs. If you are dealing with a person check out this post I wrote on youthministry360.com .
Knowing when to keep something, how to use it wisely and when to get rid of it is all a part of the stewardship of leadership. It’s not easy because it means letting go of a past investment. Through prayer and discernment we’ll know when it’s time to say good bye.
What’s one thing that you’ve had to eliminate in ministry? Was it difficult?