Are You Feeling Complacent? After doing ministry for a long time it is easy to find yourself falling into a rut. The worst thing that can happen in student ministry is becoming complacent. But this tendency is right there, behind every corner. How many times can you do the same sort of talks, deal with the same sort of issues, go to the same winter camps?
For many of my friends, when this feeling of complacency begins to creep in, the solution is to move on. This is a great solution because you can bring out your best talks, best events, and handle the hardest issues with wisdom and grace in the new ministry.. In fact, a move often brings with it some street cred and even a pay increase.
But before you jump ship, maybe this creeping complacency can be dealt with another way. Instead of changing your context, maybe you should simply mix things up and bring change to you and your context.
What New Things Will You Bring to Your Ministry:
After doing student ministry for 15 years and working my way through my 7th year in my current context, the temptation to tread water is always right there for me. As a discipline I will always take away at least one and hopefully two events we did last year and replace them with completely new ones. When these new events are also things that capture your imagination and passion, it is much easier to be excited for the upcoming events and your passion will automatically transfer to your students because you will also believe with all your heart that your students should be there. The same is true with what happens at youth group and the curriculum we go through. These should be revisited at least annually, if not quarterly.
Of all the change that happens within the programatic portion of our youth ministry, I've found that capitalizing on the passion and excitement of particular students brings about the most life and excitement. Every grouping of students brings different passions. In just the time I have been in my current context we have had several different focuses lead by students:
- Justice issues
- Friendship Evangelism
- Christian Leadership
But this current season has brought the most life to me and to our entire ministry. One of our key student leaders, part of our worship team, plays the ukulele and had a brilliant idea of starting a ukulele band. After youth group we all laughed about it, but as we were joking about how funny that would be, people started coming forward revealing that they too have a ukulele, and then more come forward saying how they would like to get one and be a part of this fictitious band.
Before we knew it, we had 9 people who were in! Over the next few weeks we gathered ukuleles, ordered some online, and came up with a set list. This last sunday we had our first practice and we are debuting this week at youth group. I am fired up to have 9 of us leading worship with a little bit of island flare!
If you are feeling a little complacent, for $20 you too can get a ukulele and start a band. Simply transpose your worship set list to the key of C, and you will be golden. If it isn't ukuleles, I am sure that there is an emerging passion bubbling among your students. Look outside your own plans and harness this passion--you'll re-spark your own passion for students and ministry!