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.
Don’t get me wrong I like events and I think they have there place. But if your youth ministry is struggling you need to get out of the event planning business because:
EVENTS ARE UNSUSTAINABLE
To pull off a quality event takes a ton of resources and the average youth ministry budget is limited. To raise the funds you end up fundraising, which adds more pressure and takes away time from growing disciples.
If you want to grow your ministry you need to look at utilizing your BUDGET and TIME wisely and that means investing in something you can do week in and week out. Avoid events and start making your ministry:
RELATIONAL WITH SMALL GROUPS
Small groups work because you are building life long relationships. Teens will want to come back because they feel connected and a part of a community. Small groups have intimacy, which the next generation craves.
FOCUSED ON LEADERSHIP
Your ministry is growing and commissioning disciples into the real world. To take on the challenges of adult life teenagers need to know how to lead. Look at your ministry like it’s a leadership factory by:
- Providing opportunities for them to create.
- Giving them responsibility and authority.
- Showing them attributes of a leader.
When you focus on leadership teens will come back because you’ve shown them a place where they can find purpose.
AN ESCAPE FROM THE CRAZINESS
When you cannot compete with what the world is throwing out there, give the next generation an opportunity to retreat. Relationships are key, but giving them moments of rest and silence are paramount.
Your youth ministry doesn’t have to be all about the hype, the fun and the games. It can have moments of profound prayer, reflection and discernment. Teens will come back to a ministry that allows them to shut out the noise and focus on what’s most important.
Events are great when they lead to something more. The next generation wants more purpose, value and connection. Build a ministry that provides that authentically, and consistently and you will grow disciples of Jesus Christ.
Question: How do you use events wisely in your ministry? You can leave a comment by clicking here.