How To Efficiently Grow Young Disciples

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Letting go of my first car was difficult.  But, as soon as I saw the huge amounts of oil it was hemorrhaging I knew that it was time to let go.  I thought to myself what if I just carried around enough oil to refill when it got low; however, it would have been costly.  If I want to get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible I need to have a well running car.
A question many of us in student ministry need to answer “What’s the most efficient way of getting a teenager in our community to become a fully mature disciple of Christ?” You start by looking at your programs, events and systems and determine which are pitfalls and which are opportunities to achieving your vision.  So how do you know which programs move you forward, which set you back and which ones will completely stop you?  Ask these three questions:

  • Questions #1: Does this fulfill our purpose? Many times we do something for no reason other than that’s what we’ve always done. If you are doing things in your youth ministry that do not lead people closer to the vision then you’ll burn yourself out.  What we do needs clear purpose otherwise what’s the point?  
  • Question #2: Is this a competing system? It’s good to have a competitive spirit; however, when you start planning programs that compete with one another you’ll only find yourself frustrated.  When this happen you’ll need to look at whether your programs need tweaking, refocusing or elimination.  Because your systems will be competing you’ll be too busy fighting and not progressing forward.
  • Question #3: Does the labor outweigh the fruit? Sometimes you might have an idea, event or program that’s got a purpose and has created some amazing fruit. The only problem is that you kill yourself making it happen each year. This is the hardest question to answer because it can mean eliminating something that’s a part of you.

Answering these questions can lead to very difficult decisions.  When you tweak, adjust or cut programs and events you’ll face push back even from some of your most committed leaders. But, you know you’ve made the right decision when you feel the margin and freedom efficiency brings.

How else do you measure efficiency?  Do you disagree with any of the points laid out in this post?