Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr Day, a day when we reflect on the sacrifice and leadership of not just a great man; but, a powerful church leader. Â Honestly, I’ve never really celebrated or reflected on what this day has meant until recently. Â It’s a day that not only commemorates how this country moved forward; but, the church as well. Â It’s a day that commemorates how the church was a part of a great movement.
Your youth ministry isn’t just a program, activity or a club, it’s a movement. Â It’s easy to forget how much of an impact your ministry can have on the community. Â You get lost in the details of meetings, paperwork and disappointment. Â For us it’s hard enough to:
- Write A Talk
- Plan A Game
- Show A Video
- Serve Pizza
For us to challenge, encourage and commission your teens to go out and change the world is exhausing. Â Sometimes it’s not just about what you say; but, what you do. Â So how do you, in the midst of the business, transfer your ministry into a movement?
- Include Application: Whether it’s an activity, or a message make sure that there is an action step for you teens to take. Â Give them a vision so that they are inspired and the steps that will take them there. Â The best action steps are tangible, clear and simple. Â Once you set them up for success you will see the momentum and enthusiasm build. Â They’ll realize, “I can be a part of something.”
- Empower Through Small Groups:Â It takes a lot of work to create big crowd mission trips and events. Â You have to multiply your efforts which can lead to error and stress. Â With small groups you put ownership on the leaders who will empower their 6-8 students. Â Once you get one group going, you can use them as an example and inspiration to get the other moving.
- Partner With The Community:Â While working in the trenches and sitting with the students is important, a youth minister needs to be working with schools, community organizations and local businesses to really increase influence. Â Sometimes change happens by working within the systems. Â As a youth leader that means looking at yourself a community partner.
There are times when youth ministries just need to sit back, relax and have fun; however, in the end it needs to also move. Â A youth ministry that moves is one that creates change. Â A youth ministry that moves is one that grows. Â Next time you feel the ministry is growing stale or mundane, ask yourself, “Where does this need to move?”
How do you make your ministry a movement?
Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)