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Did you know that 84% of purpose statements don’t significantly impact a youth group the way they could? And did you know that 95% of statistics are made up on the spot?

Writing a purpose statement is always an exciting time. It’s inspiring to dream and pray about what God could do through the youth group.

But no matter how inspiring a purpose statement is, that doesn’t guarantee that it will make an impact. We’ve all made banners of purpose statements and hung them up with all the fanfare, only to let them sit and collect dust. The hard part is actually using them.

Here are a couple tips to help bring your purpose statement to life so that you can use it to strengthen your ministry and disciple students.

Set clear goals to accomplish your purpose statement. Start as far out as possible, like with a 30 year "Big Hairy Audacious Goal." Then break it down to goals for the next 5 years, for this next year, and finally for this quarter. It’s hard work, but it pays off.

LIVE by those goals, every week and every day. Keep them in front of you and use them to set your agenda each day. Constantly ask yourself, "Is what I’m doing right now accomplishing this quarter’s goals?" If not, don’t do it!

Review all of your goals each quarter and set new quarter goals. Did you accomplish last quarter’s goals? Why or why not? What did you learn?

Revise everything annually. Your purpose statement and big goals may not change much, but always be ready to make adjustments as you go along. Don’t keep goals just because you used to think they were a good idea. If they’re not a good idea anymore, change them.

Involve others in the process. "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed" (Proverbs 15:22). Don’t do it alone. Find wise counsel and listen to their opinions and advice regularly. And talk with your senior pastor to align the youth group with the rest of the church.

Pray, pray and pray. In each step of the process, ask the Lord to direct your steps and to give you wisdom and insight. Just "doing ministry" doesn’t change hearts or lives. We need to remind ourselves of our need for Him, especially when we think we have it all together.

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