You might not have noticed yet that Slant33 has been relaunched recently but the premise remains the same: 1 topic, 3 perspectives. I got a chance to jump in on the question How Far Do You Plan Out Your Youth Ministry Calendar? What’s Your Process? Why? Here’s part of my thoughts on the topic, click through for the complete thought and to get the other 2 takes from Brian Berry and Lars Rood, too:
I love Google Maps. When you load the homepage, the default view is zoomed way out, showing you the whole United States. Type in an address and it zooms in quickly to show you a specific region. Click “street view” and BAM! you’re looking at things as if you were literally walking through the neighborhood on foot. Kinda creepy, since this means Google is stalking us, but kinda awesome at the same time. And a great example of how we typically plan our youth ministry calendar.
We first take a look at the big picture of our ministry then zoom in on the season ahead and finally get a street view all the way down to the current teaching series and events.
It is a wise idea to get away for the day and get a big picture of your ministry. Take a break from the pace of ministry and the distractions of email, voicemail, and the persistent nagging of Google Plus and wrestle with an overview of your youth group. August is the perfect time for this!
For some, this is a simple task because they live in the world of ideas and vision. For others, it will be challenging to stick your head up over it all and get a glimpse of the whole.
Key questions to ask yourself at this big-picture stage:
- Where do you think God wants to take students in the next year?
- What worked well last year, and will it work again?
- What annual events would be effective again this year?
- What needs to get the ax?
- Have you blocked out your week of vacation?
- Where are we strong, and where are we weak?
- Is there a good balance of God’s eternal purposes for our ministry (evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, worship)?