I love fresh starts. They bring excitement and opportunity. In the youth ministry world, most look at the fall (start of a new school year) as a fresh start. I feel like this is even more true this year. While youth ministry happened in most churches this past year, many of us felt as though it was restricted and uncertain. I am pumped for a fresh start this fall! Below are three things that will help make your “fresh start” better than ever.
1. Reaffirm the commitment of your leaders
Do you have written expectations or a covenant for your leaders? If you do, now is a great time to review those, make any necessary changes and then start having one-on-one conversations with each adult leader to make sure they are still on board. If you don’t have expectations written out, consider putting something together and go over it with your team. This is also very helpful when recruiting new leaders.
2. Review your vision and goals
Now is a great time to make sure you are still on track with your vision and goals. If you have been in ministry long enough, you have experienced “vision drift.” Redirect your course and get back on track. Make sure your goals are lining up with your vision, and get ready to move forward.
3. Reestablish your planning and execution
Planning during Covid was frustrating. No one wanted to plan too far ahead because we did not know what was going to happen. While Covid may not be completely gone, we are at a point where we need to start doing long-range planning again. I would like to recommend two kinds of planning meetings to implement.
- Annual Planning – This is a meeting you have before the beginning of your new year. Plan anywhere from several hours to a full day. Get your leadership team together and do several things:
- Pray together – Make sure these are God’s plans and not yours.
- Goal setting – What do you want to see happen this year as a result of your ministry.
- Calendar planning – Plan either the full year or at least half of the year with details like events, youth group meeting nights and leader training.
- Teaching plan – Plan what lessons you are going to teach and who will teach them. The Multiply! app is a great help for this.
- Small group arrangements – Plan who is leading and what students are in each group.
- Plan first month of youth group meetings in detail
- Regular Planning – These meetings should happen anywhere from monthly to quarterly. These meetings will be shorter, but it is still important to have your team there. Probably 1-2 hours. Here are several things to do in these meetings:
- Evaluation – Evaluate past meetings and events.
- Three-month calendar overview – Look ahead to upcoming events to be sure you are prepared.
- Plan next month’s youth group meeting in detail. If you only meet quarterly, you will need to plan three months in detail.
- Training – This could just be a 10 minute video with discussion or inviting your Word of Life Youth Ministry Coach in to do some training.
- Fellowship and fun – Share a meal together.
- Pray together.
Need help getting back in “go” mode? Reach out to one of our Youth Ministry Coaches. They would love to serve you in any way they can.
Brian has been in youth ministry for 23 years. He is passionate about communicating truth to young people and the leaders that work with them. Brian loves to play, watch and talk about all kinds of sports. He and his wife Lynn have three awesome teenagers and live in upstate, NY.