The administrative work in ministry is hard for me. Diving into the details always stresses me out. That’s why, at the beginning of every school year, I make sure I’m making six critical connections before we launch. These are conversations that help everyone, including me, know where we’re going, and why.
1. If you’re married, talk to your spouse.
As you plan your fall calendar, mold it around your family. In ministry, we know there’s always some measure of sacrifice required, but if you have control over your planning, lessen the blow for your family. I would hate for my kids to look back with frustration at the church because of a schedule that pulled me away from them too often.
2. Talk with your pastor.
Our role is to support the mission, vision, and direction of our church. If our programs interfere with church programs, or the youth ministry’s purpose and direction interfere with the church’s overall church direction it’s a problem. Align your ministry with where the church is going. This will make your life easier and build your relationship with church leadership.
3. Talk with your volunteers.
This is an exciting time of new leaders coming into your pipeline and established leaders who will help lead the way. Our tendency is to lean into what we want from our volunteers. But don’t stop there—making sure you give them a steady drip of your church’s mission, vision, and values. Make a commitment to investing in them at the start of the year.
4. Talk with your student leaders.
If you have a student leadership team, it’s fine to have them set up chairs, pass out pencils and note cards, and to clean up after and event—but they’re capable of so much more. Get their input of your events and teaching calendar… Better yet, identify gifted teenagers and help them build and deliver some of your teaching times. Give away ministry to these young leaders, don’t just delegate tasks.
5. Talk with parents.
Parents love clear communication—they need to know where we’re going and why we’re going there. Parents don’t have to trust me (and some don’t), but they do have to trust me to care for their “valuables”—their teenagers. What are you doing to prove you’re trustworthy? How are you supporting them as parents? Let them know!
6. Talk with Jesus.
I know, this should be first on the list, but it was so obvious I decided to end with this connection. Are you praying for your spouse? Your Pastor? Your leaders? Your teens? Your calendar? Your personal growth? These conversations with Jesus set up every other conversation. And it’s a conversation that never ends (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Are you missing any of these connections as you launch your ministry into a new year?