Leadership | Programming
Mark Eades

Ecclesiastes 3 says, “There is a season for everything.” These verses raise the question, “Should I be thinking about doing something brand new or redo something tried and true?” Here are several ideas to consider.

Be yourself.
Ever catch yourself thinking, “If I just do what Josh or Kurt do, I will have an awesome group”? That belief usually fails. God has given you your group, church, and community. Gather ideas from other sources, and then adjust them to your group. For example, Josh shared an event called Fast Food Fridays. Our senior pastor and I liked it, so we met at a local fast food joint with parents and kids. They loved it! It was a good fit for our youth and parents.

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Think outside the box, but not too far.
You have a unique view on your own community. You see your community from a perspective uniquely gifted from God—a place where God’s grace and truth must be heard. Remember that when you choose between new or old. I like to spend time meeting with local middle-school principals. I learned that one of the scariest things incoming 6th-graders face is the daunting task of remembering the combination for their lockers. With this information, I decided to try something new. We held a locker opening practice in the summer for new 6th graders. The relief and confidence was visible!
Be organized, but flexible.
It is important that each meeting, retreat, or trip has a plan. But God can do awesome things that don’t match our careful plans! Be prepared, but be ready to change. I have a spreadsheet of teaching lessons for the next 6-9 months. However, each week a few leaders and I discuss what is best for us to hit that week. Most of the time we follow the schedule, but occasionally we adjust based on new input.

One last thought: Don’t worry about repeating a great idea because it’s not “new” anymore. We repeat major events every three years. We know they have been field-tested, but the students still get to enjoy a new activity.

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There is a season for trying something new, and there is a season for continuing what works. Use ideas from others, but be confident in God’s plan for you.

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