Last night I watched the State of the Union and it made me realize moving an entire nation to change is difficult. It’s difficult because there are people in denial, there are people who disagree with you and people who just don’t like you. But sometimes we need to change what we are doing or where we are going as a ministry. Maybe it’s because your numbers have dwindled, you don’t have as many ministers, parents are growing frustrated, etc. So how do you create change in a hostile environment? How does change happen? It starts with:
- Repetitive Vision: Have you ever shared an idea with someone that wasn’t ready to hear it? What happened? They rejected it. If we throw our vision out there once, or to only a few people, it will never stick. Visions shows people the fruit of what change will bring. Where and when should we share vision?
- Email Signature
- Teachings to Students
- Meeting with Parents
- One on One Conversations
- Every Time and Everywhere You Can
- Patient Investing: We live in a “now” world that wants “now” results. In youth ministry we are constantly under pressure to bring instant results; therefore, we waste countless hours and dollars on events that are just hype. Maybe, instead we should be expediting more of our energy in children’s ministry. I’m not saying we should abandon our teens, but if you have a misaligned children’s ministry then it’ll produce misaligned teens. How good is the relationship that you have with your children’s minister? How important are your middle school students? They are the church of today, but they are also the church of the future.
- Leading From Below: I heard a great message from Craig Groeschel on this subject. He said that too many of us younger folk come off with a sense of entitlement. Many of us youth workers are young; therefore, you will find with many youth ministers a belief that we should have the biggest budgets, the most ministers, the greatest amount of respect, because we know more than our pastors. I’m not saying there aren’t dysfunctional pastors out there but if we aren’t honoring and serving leadership, then how can we expect leadership to respect us? But, even if we do have a bad boss, it is damaging to a church to undermine the leader. All it causes is a divide.
- Outside the Box Risk Taking: If we fear failure, we’ll never change. If we rely on the same systems over and over again expecting different results we’ll drive ourselves crazy. Failure doesn’t mean the end of the world, it means time for a new plan. Outside the Box thinking means dreaming big, if we dream too small not only do we underutilize talent but we never change. When you can communicate this to your parents, students and ministers you create an adventure, which will encourage people to invest in what you do. And when you have many people behind a big idea, big results happen.
Change is inevitable, it’s constant and it’s happening at a fast rate. If we can’t change, or promote it to our ministers, teens and parents then we’re going to feel stuck. Whether you are the youth pastor or a small group leader, anyone leading a group of people needs to communicate and help facilitate change or else they should get out of the way. We aren’t just youth ministers, we’re agents of change.
How do you facilitate, communicate and promote change in your ministry?