Value #3: Small works better than big. I've had the opportunity to be a part of and lead "big" youth ministries. One of the common misconceptions is to focus on the "bigness" of ministry and lead with a big mindset.
Now let me interject, this is not a ploy to discredit big ministry or to criticize youth groups that get big. After all, "healthy things grow." In fact, it's quite the opposite, your ministry SHOULD get big; the time it takes is up to you.
I'm simply stating that the bigger something gets, the more important it becomes to break it down into smaller groups, activities, etc. The bigger a group gets the less involvment from individuals you'll have. Not everyone enjoys concerts or camping or video games or football; for example, have you ever seen the way a group interacts when there are only 6 in it, compared to the way a group 25 interact? In the smaller group everyone participates, speaks up, gets involved. In the larger; just a handful will.
The larger your group gets, the more you will work at finding ways to make it personal and connected. May I suggest thinking small.
Value #4: Knowing God is more important than knowing about God. I will be the first to admit this is takes a lot of work to make a reality. Maybe it's just me, because I enjoy "teaching" aspect of ministry. But the truth of it is, we have a great canyon between knowing and experiencing God. Here are a couple of thoughts: Everything we do should point to God, even our lingo about Jesus. I've seen far too often we put such a heavy focus on Christ that we neglect to finish the journey. Hear me, I'm not saying do away with Jesus! Absolutely not!!! I'm saying we must not fail to connect the dots, that the reason why Jesus came was to restore us unto our Heavenly Father, God. We must continue to teach about God, but also put a high focus on sensing the presence of God; linking what we do to why we do it.
Value #5: Humor greatly enhances ministry. There is no hiding the fact that I personally like to have fun. But this value goes far beyond my personal preference. I believe humor should be a vital part of youth ministry; and not just reserved for a video or drama in the service. Humor is more than a funny drama or telling jokes in your message. It's the overall atmosphere of joy that is echoed in everything you do. There is something disarming and attractive to a ministry that can successfully infuse humor into ever service. Let me add one thought to this value; it should show up in every service, not just the special ones you plan for. A key damper in the service is to be asked several times the phrase, "are you having a good time?" or "are you glad you showed up?" They will let you know with their feet over the next few weeks. The only "person" we are trying to convince when we ask, "are you having a good time" over and over is ourselves.
Again, I hope you enjoy these and that they maybe even help. I'll post more tomorrow.
Yours for His Kingdom,
Missed Part One? Click here.