3 Conversations that Will Take Ministry to the Next Level

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As the new calendar starts for everyone else, in youth ministry we already have a semester under our belts.  Even though we feel we might have found a groove in the Fall semester we still want to start off strong in January and I think we all know that means: taking a quick look back at what we have already done.

It might seem like adding something tedious to our already full plates but it seems important to take time at the end of a semester to gauge some responses from some of your key people.  This will help you make changes to your Spring semester as well as provide some great notes for Fall planning in a few months.  So here are some suggestions on finishing up Fall semester and heading into Spring semester:

  1. Pick 4 or 5 youth (hopefully from various grades) to sit down with as a group or individually.  Ask some specific questions about events, lesson series, and take suggestions for what could be better next year.
  2. Pick 4 or 5 volunteers (parents or non-parents)  to sit down with and ask some of the same questions as the students but also ask how you could better support them or how they feel the volunteers are feeling as a whole.
  3. Pick 4 or 5 parents to sit down with and ask what they are hearing from their students at home about the youth ministry and what they as a parent think is going well as well as not so well.
  4. Take NOTES!

So you are most likely thinking two things right now:

  1. “DUH!  Adam, all you said was talk to people who are directly affected by the ministry.” Exactly now go do it.
  2. “Adam, you just described a possibility of fifteen individual meetings during my holiday time.”  True, and everyone is busy but I cannot tell you how excited youth will be that you thought to ask them, how appreciated your volunteers will feel that you took time to hear from them, and how overjoyed parents will be that you care about their teens.  Also, these conversations will open doors for people to feel like they can come to you, as well as, allowing you the opportunity to hear from people.  You might gain some insight you didn’t have time to gather in the midst of the busy semester as well as some added support.  None of this is earth shattering and it will more than likely not drastically change you programs; however, it may gain you some new supporters as well as some much needed notes as you plan next Fall.

Image attribution: dsy88 / Thinkstock

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Adam serves as the Minister to High School Students at Brentwood United Methodist in Brentwood TN. Adam has a degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from Lambuth University and a Masters in Youth Ministry from Memphis Theological through the Center for Youth Ministry Training. Adam and his wife Carlisle both serve in youth ministry in separate United Methodist Churches and spend most of their time ministering to teens and laughing at their bulldogs, Hurley and Patty. You can follow Adam on Twitter @adamcjones.

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