What Do You Have For Me? Clear and Simple Ministry

Our church is planning it’s kickoff weekend for the fall and the discussion around the office is what is that going to look like for each ministry.  Any big weekend at Church of the Nativity is called a tent weekend because 9 out of 10 times there is a huge tent parked in front of the church, duh.  Inside the tent are opportunities for kids to adults to get involved in programs, ministry, membership and so on.  Even though people have tried (and one guy got injured) you can’t go around it, you can’t go under it or over it, you need to do go through it to get into the church.  It’s not that we are going to force you into something, we just want to make sure you see that their are many ways to get further involved in our church body.
This year our signage is a little different, in the past it’s read: Student Ministry, this year it’s “I’m a teenager what can I do?”  It’s a good question, not one that we are often asked.  Usually the question I hear is “I’m a teenager what do you have for me?” And that’s a hard one because it tempts and pressures us to try and appease students by offering them everything.  So is that possible?
No, it’s not and I can’t promise that question is ever going to go away.  It’s human nature to seek what’s best for us.  But if you want to minimize the question it’s important to offer ministry that is clear and simple.

  • CLEAR MINISTRY – This means having a clear vision, clear mission, clear systems and clear communication. Vision doesn’t have to be complete.  Again you and I were created with a specific purpose, not the only purpose; however, you need to be clear about what (vision) you are trying to accomplish and how (mission) you plan on accomplishing the what.  Then you need to tell your students, ministers and parents.  People love vision, that’s why sports are so popular.  What’s the vision of a team?  Winning the championship.  How are they going to do that?  By winning more games than the other teams.  I know there is more to that, but when you boil it down it’s clear.
  • SIMPLE MINISTRY – When we are simple in student ministry we can guarantee the maximum amount of focus and energy on a specific program or event.  Don’t do everything, do what God has designed you to do best.  I know students, ministers, and parents will want you to do more, but you have to play to your strengths.  Busy doesn’t mean success.  Margin creates health.  A simple ministry might not attract everyone but it will have a lasting impact on the people that it does.

There are so many exercises out there on how to be clear and simple.  So many youth ministry and church resources that explain how they simplified and made clear their mission and vision (Go to the resource links on the side of this blog for more great examples).  What we need to do is constantly think about being more clear, more simple and that means asking for feedback, reviewing what you are doing and prayer.  When we are clear and simple, it’s hard not to be focused on God.