It's easy to fall into the trap of numbers and immediate feedback to assess the effectiveness of our youth ministry. After all, no one wants to hear "I'll let you know seven years from now", when they ask the (dreaded?) question, "How's the youth ministry going?"
When it comes to assessing a youth ministry, the best short term measurement is not popularity but health. But what does a healthy youth ministry look like? Here are seven indicators I have developed based on considerable study and personal experience:
- Christ-Centred: Christ is central to the life and activities of the youth ministry. Christian belief is modelled and taught, and Christ’s presence and leadership acknowledged with a sense of expectancy and faith when leaders and young people gather.
- Equipped: An intentional strategy for employing and developing leaders is present and working effectively. Leadership is diverse and leaders exhibit Christian character and are receiving ongoing training and mentoring.
- Integrated: The youth ministry operates as an integral part of the wider church. It intentionally builds links with other generations and other ministries. As a result the young people regard the church as “their church”.
- Relational: The youth ministry sees relationships as being vital to its life and deliberately seeks to enhance these. Young people are known, valued and cared for as individuals and the youth ministry is a safe place for all.
- Balanced: Programmes effectively disciple young people through various stages of faith toward maturity in Christ. There is good balance between various programming elements and leaders strive to do everything to a high standard.
- Ordered: Systems and strategies are in place that contribute to the smooth and effective running of the youth ministry. These include role descriptions, calendars, curriculum, databases and communication strategies.
These seven indicators form the basis of a consultancy service we offer to churches. We can work with your leaders, exploring each indicator in depth and developing a ministry plan to move your ministry toward a place of health and sustainability.
The consultancy process is a positive, constructive one. It's not about criticism and apportioning blame. Instead it aims to make good youth ministries even better by helping leaders identify areas of need and develop strategies for improved health.
Contact Murray Brown (ph. 027 841 5321) if you'd like to talk more about entering into a consultancy process with us.