Can you believe that summer is over and the this new school year is already upon us? We are in that precious time in our programmatic calendar between seasons. We have ended our Summer youth group rhythm, and are on a break until we launch our fall student ministry program in a couple of weeks.
In order for us to have a successful year in ministry, I have found that what I do during these two weeks is of the utmost importance. I am tempted to take this break and simply sleep more and zone out on Facebook or Netflix while I just fill time in my office. But this will not prepare me or our ministry for what I want to accomplish in this upcoming year.
To make sure this I don't let these two weeks get ahead of me, I have decided to write out my goal, and what I am going to do to set my ministry up for success in pulling them off. Here they are:
MY GOALS FOR THIS YEAR:
- For students to feel welcomed and cared for when they come to our group.
- For students to be encouraged and equipped in their walks towards Jesus.
- For our seniors to discover what they actually believe and own the kind of people they want to be when they graduate.
- To partner with parents so they can feel supported, equipped, and cared for as they strive.
- To parent their kids in a way that points them towards Christ.
- To have an excellent program that is easy to for students to invite friends to.
- To provide opportunities for teaching and events that help students look outside of themselves and serve our community and world.
- To train, equip, and love my new intern.
- To clearly communicate and advocate for our student ministry program to the larger church.
- To master my schedule well enough to meet with 3-5 students a week outside of church.
I want to end the school year with these goals accomplished. In order to accomplish this, there are certain things that I want to make sure are dialed in before this school year begins. And many of them need to be done this week.
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN THIS WEEK TO SET THIS MINISTRY UP FOR SUCCESS:
- Meet with all my staff and clarify expectations.
- Track down some potential volunteer youth staff.
- Have a student ministry training for all our volunteer youth staff where we can clearly communicate our vision, values, and goals for this upcoming ministry year.
- Put a Parent's night on the calendar to orientate our parents to our student ministry program.
- Add a monthly parents night to the annual calendar.
- Have our Fall Calendar done and ready for print.
- Included in this calendar are our dates and costs for winter camp, mission trips, and summer camps.
- Write up our curriculum plan for the year.
- Highlight our special event nights.
- Identify and categorize every student in my ministry.
- Clean up our website, database, and other areas of communication.
- Get my own spiritual and physical diciplines back on track.
- Do all of this so that we can be prepared to present the Gospel in season and out of season!
This next calendar year is coming upon us. Let us not be caught off guard or find that we run out of steam or ideas long before the academic year ends. Rather, let us come up with a clear plan, and then work hard to prepare our ministries for success.
May God use our feeble efforts so that as we plant and water, plant and water, plant and water, God would be gracious and cause faith to grow, so that some of our students may come to know, love, and serve Jesus all the days of their lives!
PS: For some of my student ministry friends, the learning curve is pretty steep and figuring out how to dream, plan and implement a programmatic calendar feels pretty overwhelming. If you would like some help or encouragement in this endeavor, please don't hesitate to contact me anytime. Peace!