It goes without saying that, as a youth leader, you care for the students in your ministry a great deal. We want to see each one of our students come to know Jesus personally and be growing in their faith. In ministry, we can become so focused on teaching, discipling, and nurturing (all great priorities) that we neglect to focus on the more practical tasks youth ministry requires. These practical tasks include communication, systems, and processes. Another name for this category of work is administration.
Administration may feel trivial, but let me assure you – it is not. The elements of administration are tools in our toolbox to care well for those in our ministries. It is a different avenue to demonstrate that we place a high value not only on the people in our ministries but also on the ministry itself.
Administration Is Biblical
Part of caring well means we have systems and processes in place to serve those in our ministries. We see this demonstrated in the Old Testament; Moses was trying to care for all the Israelites on his own, and God used Jethro to instruct Moses to delegate his responsibilities and have a system for the people of Israel to bring their up their concerns (Exodus 18:17-23). Not only is having systems and processes a good idea – it is also biblical.
Administration Leads to Intentional Ministry
Effective administration helps make sure a student doesn’t fall through the cracks. If we are not taking attendance, how do we know when a student is gone? If we are not tracking when new kids show up, how do we know if students are inviting their friends? How do we follow up effectively? If we do not have a plan to communicate to the parents, how will they know when to bring their students and which events are coming up on the calendar? These kinds of questions lead to processes that help capture data and execute plans. Good data helps your leadership make wise and informed decisions as they strategically plan.
Administration Streamlines Communication
Although this may seem obvious, communication is critical. Don’t forget that there are multiple audiences to communicate with, and the platforms through which we communicate may need to be different depending on the audience. If you want an effective ministry, you must communicate often and well. Communication needs to be clear, and it needs to be given well in advance. Do your volunteers know when your training and planning times are? Do you have a calendar for families? When you communicate about events, are you communicating just to parents, or to students as well? Are you only using social media? What if a parent or student does not have social media? I could say a lot more here, but these are just a few questions to consider.
Administration Facilitates Service Opportunities for Students
Lastly, every believer has a God-given spiritual gift; this includes the students in your youth ministry. As leaders, you have the opportunity to help your students discover their gifts, as well as the chance to demonstrate how to use these gifts to the fullest. When the area of administration is running well, this becomes a unique opportunity to engage your students in critical areas of your ministry. This both equips the students and provides extra creativity and efficiency to your leadership team. It gives students ownership of the ministry and, even more so, it demonstrates to them that systems, processes, and organization are valuable pieces in reaching others with the gospel.
Megan Collins is the Campus Director at Grace Community Church, in Newburgh, New York. Megan and her husband, Brandon, have two children, Jacey and Simon. Megan loves to mentor women and help them grow in their relationship with Christ.