What makes for a successful youth ministry? That’s a good question! The answer usually starts with, “Well, that depends.” Just like checking the engine on a car (see our Blog article about this subject), you need to know what kind of car you have, and how it should work. A thorough assessment will identify what is most important for your church’s youth ministry. It’s an important first step to take in getting a youth ministry up and running!
No Two Ministries Are Alike
TAILORED FOR YOUR CHURCH
Youth ministry is an inexact endeavor; that’s part of its allure, and its frustration. Although there are principles and ground rules that can be used to evaluate a youth ministry, they invariably are flexible and adaptable. What works in one place may very well be a complete failure in another. The assessment of your youth ministry will be rooted in Biblical imperatives for ministry and your church’s vision and emphasis.
A SNAPSHOT IN TIME
Youth ministry is transitory in nature. All kids grow and change during their teenage years, and nothing seems to happen in a straight line with them. Young people who are the backbone of the program this year may be gone next year. Students who are completely involved now may choose differently next month. Middle schoolers who are fully committed will often go through a non-committed phase of their spiritual development in high school. Therefore, any assessment of a youth ministry will be somewhat subjective, and will be substantially accurate for only a short time.
A HANDS-ON PROCESS
Information for your assessment will be gathered through personal observation, focus group conversations, and personal interaction with current young people, youth leaders, parents, and church leadership. The information that is gathered will compiled, sifted, evaluated, and combined to create a picture of your church’s youth ministry.