Youth Ministry Identity Crisis

I never thought I would have to answer the questions “What do you want to be?” and “What purpose do you serve?” when it came to student ministry.  I thought those answers were pretty standard.  Coming into the job I wanted my youth ministry to be fun and I thought our purpose was to get students involved in youth ministry.  That was my vision and mission for the youth ministry.  But the more I worked with the students the more I realized that I needed something that was going to inspire the students, the ministers and me.  Because if student ministries aren’t striving to inspire students in a relationship with Christ, then what’s the point?
A couple of days ago Lisa our Children’s Minister and I were sitting down talking about vision and mission statements and this is what we discovered:

  • Vision Statement – Is a picture of what you would like your “organization” or student ministry to look like. The reason you create a vision statement is because you want your team to know where you intend to go.  A vision statement is like having a destination, how you are going to get there no one knows; however, you have hope and confidence that you’ll one day get there.  So what do you want your ministry to look like?  For our student ministry our vision statement is an irresistible, consistent and authentic ministry of teenagers spreading the word of Christ.  
  • Mission Statement – Is a statement that answers the question, “What’s our purpose?”  You need to know why you exist or else what you are doing can become mindless toil.  I’m serious you ever wonder why you are a youth minister?  Having a mission statement will bring you back to why you said yes to God’s calling.  It’s a reminder to your ministers why they are important.  For our student ministry our mission statement is to create environments, opportunities and relationships that point students into a deeper relationship with Christ.

The problem many of us have with creating a vision and mission statement is that they tend to be too complex.  This happens because we want to explain everything, but you don’t have to, in fact a vision statement should inspire your team to dream big.  With a mission statement you don’t have to try to explain your whole denomination’s purpose, in fact feel free to embrace your ministry’s uniqueness.  So what does your vision/mission statement encompass?