Our student ministry’s leadership team is currently reading the book Creating Magic by former Walt Disney World CEO Lee Cockrell. A wonderful insight into leading and working with people littered with great stories of the happiest place on earth. And in that book we found a tool that we have changed slightly and employed with our ministry. It’s called “Start/Stop/Continue” (we added tweak).
The first step is to list every single thing you do (and would like to do)in your student program. The more you can think of the better it works. Once you get your list you go through each and every thing you listed and evaluate it with these ideas:
Start: What do you need to be doing that you currently are not? What is missing from your program that your students need?
Stop: What are you doing that needs to end? For us, our students asked us to stop giving out Bibles to first time visitors. That seemed like a necessity to us, but they pointed out how no one else had to carry around a “welcome packet” and it made their friends feel awkward, why not just put the stuff they need by the door and they can grab it on the way out? Brilliant.
Continue: What are you doing that is going well and needs to continue to be a part of what you do? What is working and doesn’t need to be touched? Unfortunately this is the one we love most, keep it the same. It will take some hard and honest evaluation to see if something is truly working and needs to stay. That’s why we added-
Tweak: Some things are working, but they could be working better. Having students discuss in small groups is working and necessary, but are we giving the leaders enough questions and guidance, can we tweak it a little to help them a lot?
Evaluation is never easy, but I think what makes it harder it looking at something and asking “now what?” This method helps identify where you can make changes and opens up the ability to dream about what you can do with the resources and people God has entrusted to you. So take some time, honestly evaluate what you do (we had to enlist help from our students, they saw things we didn’t), and look at what you can change to better serve God’s children.