Just announced to our middle school parents that we have created a Facebook page for the ministry. The purpose of the page is to connect parents to the program by sharing pictures, information regarding the program and so much more (aka stuff we haven’t thought of).
Granted creating a Facebook page for youth ministry is nothing new; however, it got me thinking about how it can help with the identity of our ministry. In fact with the way social media is today it could never be easier. The only problem is when our ministry doesn’t have one…an identity.
Whether you acknowledge it or not your ministry has a system for linking teens to Christ. It could be small groups, Bible studies, worship service, mission or events. Your ministry identity could be big church, small church, rural, or urban. A problem we all face is figuring out what that identity is supposed to be. So how does a ministry discover it’s identity? As youth ministers you needs to:
- Examine Your Heart: The identity of your ministry is going to be shaped by your passions. Granted there are so many themes, topics, stories and lessons to teach the next generation; unfortunately, not all of them can be taught. So, what has your heart, what do you feel are the most important subjects to share with a teen?
- Observe Your Community: Is your ministry in an urban or suburban setting? Is it affluent or middle class? Do most families have two working parents? Are the families diverse? Know the demographics you serve, you’ll know the audience, which will help you in the approach you take.
- Know Your Limits And Strengths: It’s easy to get jealous of other youth ministries because of what they have and what you don’t have. It can be a crushing feeling when really it should be liberating. When you know your limits, gifts and talents you know the parameters in which you can work. When you know your path all you need to do is build confidence.
- Craft Your Vision: Write down what it is you would like to be as a youth ministry, pray over it, share it with your pastor and others that you trust. Crafting a vision is setting a goal of what you would like to become and how you would like to lead others to Christ. The reason so many ministries lack identity is because they never think about it. Vision reminds us of what we are supposed to do.
If you want people to gain an accurate picture of why your ministry exists, then you need to spend time on developing the identity. You can’t assume people will know who you are if you never share or embrace what you discover. Without identity we have no purpose and people want to be a part of something purposeful.
What makes your ministry unique?
What other areas help our ministries form identity?