One of the most haunting questions I was asked early on in ministry was, “If your ministry ceased to exist would anyone outside your church notice?” To tell you the truth I didn’t know if anyone inside the church would even notice.
Your ministry is worth something; however, if that worth is not known it’s ineffective. As a leader you need to make sure you know why your youth ministry exists and what value it adds to the community. To help me answer the question above I had to answer another question:
What’s the one thing your ministry provides that cannot be found anywhere else?
It’s taken years to clarify it, but essentially the youth ministry at Church of the Nativity offers:
An opportunity for the next generation to discover their specific role with local church.
2 Hours where teenagers can focus solely on their relationship with God.
An environment where they can be loved for who they are, but challenged to change.
A Christ-centered community that empowers and encourages the next generation to continuously grow in their Catholic faith.
Yes, there are other ministries that provide similar opportunities, but it’s not about competing with them. It’s about partnering with them to address the issues of:
- Misdirected vision
If we can offer the four items above then we can help teenagers grow as disciples and make church relevant in the lives of the people they interact with on a regular basis.
We believe if our ministry ceased to exist those problems would continue to grow out of control. If you are looking to discover the value of your ministry then you need to:
DISCOVER THE NEED IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Your community is broken. There is something that God is calling your attention to and you need to address it. This takes time and it takes building relationships.
Make sure you tracking where people spend their time, money and energy. Listen in conversations to what owns people’s hearts. The more you know your audience the more you will know the challenges they face.
UNDERSTAND THE VISION OF YOUR CHURCH
Your ministry needs to work alongside the entire parish. If it’s a silo addressing it’s own issues and problems you’ll create unnecessary friction.
When you focus on the vision that leadership has put in place you become a valuable component. The next generation will be seen as a resource that will fund and fuel the rest of the parish.
EMBRACE WHAT’S AVAILABLE
God has you right where He wants you. He’s giving you what you need to do effective ministry. Embrace what you have even if it feels limited.
Embracing what’s available will force you to think outside the box. It will help you tackle old problems with new insights. Don’t be afraid to have limits.
The more you get to know your limits, vision and community the more simple it will be to create a youth ministry structure. You’ll be able to answer questions like:
- Why are we doing this?
- Is this having an impact on others?
There will be more intentionality behind your ministry which in the end gives it a purpose. And when your ministry has a purpose it has value.
Question: Please leave Thoughts. Comments. Questions. You can leave a comment by clicking here.