Ministry Audibles: Why You Should Change It Up

“I don’t know what to pray about.” I could feel his pain, if you don’t pray consistently it’s hard to open yourself up to God when put on the spot.  I’ll admit I was a little uncomfortable myself, couldn’t help hearing Satan say, “Why are you changing it up on the students?  Don’t you know they’ll hate you for this?”  I was changing things up by having our small groups just pray for the duration of group.  Usually we spend a few minutes before and after, but I was afraid that we were all getting a little too comfortable with the structure.
It’s too easy to follow your playbook step by step, week in and week out but after reading Seth Godin’s posts on Perfect vs. Interesting I didn’t want ministry to be perfect anymore I wanted it to be interesting.  So I called a:
MINISTRY AUDIBLE – This is what you do when your recognize your ministry is in too consistent of a pattern that it becomes predictable and ineffective.  By pulling an audible you:

  • Step Up By Stepping Out Of The Comfort Zone – When students get too comfortable they get bored or worse, they stop learning.
  • Build And Teach Adaptability – If our student’s faith is triggered by the same old actions then they’ll never adapt to a spiritual life outside of high school.  You switch it up on them, they’ll learn how to adapt.
  • Discover What’s Really Inside – If your audible challenges them to step up and adapt you’ll see how they fail and how they succeed.  What you’ll discover are holes in your ministry, which can show you where you should be focusing on your students.

Change can be good, but we have to be mindful not to over change.  When you over change, when your ministry is based on events and not a system you’ll have trouble gaining traction.  The skill lies sitting in the tension of to change or not to change.  You’ll know when to change and when to stay the course if you listen to your ministers and teens.  Throwing an audible will be easy if the components of your ministry are adaptable and have margin.  And above all else, don’t be afraid to fail.

When do you know your ministry needs a change? Please share your thoughts.

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  • CJ says:

    With apologies to the speeches of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, I believe that tameness, sameness and lameness will kill a student ministry. Audibles (and surprises) are crucial. Great stuff, Chris!

  • CJ, ha ha awesome rhyme, I couldn’t agree more. But a question to the crowd when is it appropriate to call an audible…meaning what are the signs to call one.