Here are some more notes from Rev. Jacqui Foxall’s workshop at Canada Youth 2018:
Sample Mission Statement
Your mission statement should:
– include the vision of what you are trying to achieve;
– clearly state your values; and
– identify a number of long-term goals and benchmarks
against which you can measure your progress.
Everything thing you do needs to be filtered through your mission statement! For example, if your youth are doing something at a church bazaar, ask yourself:
– why are they doing it?
– what is its goal – what do they hope to get out of it? – how does it fit in with the mission statement?
Developing a Sustainable Youth Ministry
It doesn’t matter how successful you are with your youth group. Everything has a life cycle. Your program will peak somewhere along the line, and then start to naturally decline. Don’t worry. This is normal.
The Youth Ministry Life Cycle
Success and failure are not isolated incidents. They are part of a trajectory – the youth ministry life cycle.
What you as youth leader need to do is: recognize that your group has almost reached its peak before it reaches the peak so that you are ready for the next step before decline sets in.
Re-Visioning Your Youth Ministry
Once you recognize that the youth group’s life is about to peak, you can start to make plans for setting it on a new trajectory. In other words, you start to re-vision your ministry.
Remember – re-visioning youth ministry is not the responsibility of the Youth Leader alone but of the whole congregation (or their representatives, such as the Session.
The “Numbers” Game
According to one author (Wayne Rice), we count people because people count. The fact is that youth go where the numbers are. A room with only 1 or 2 is far less inviting than a room packed with friends and filled with energy!
At the same time, we need to remember that BIGGER is NOT BETTER. A bigger youth ministry is not necessarily a better youth ministry. Numbers are important but focusing too much – or only – on numbers actually distracts us from youth ministry.
Why? It is not possible for any single individual to know “everyone” equally well. Research shows that we tend to know only 3 people well.
Youth ministry is really about relationships. If we can get to know only 3 youth really well, then it is important to have more than one person involved in youth ministry. If you have 18 youth, then you need 6 more youth leaders/assistants!