I have been on quite a few planes in my life, some big, some small and knock on wood, the worst things I have had to experience was someone vomiting on the floor beside me. I have seen many strange things while in the air, eaten some interesting “food” and watched a lot of really bad movies but the one thing I have never seen is someone fixing the plane mid-flight. The reason you never see that is because planes are fixed when they are on the ground, and for those of us that are in slow down mode for the summer or just in a different gear this is a great time for some routine maintenance or maybe it’s a major overhaul.
A few weeks ago I wrote about Start – Stop – Continue and shared some of the questions that we asked our leaders, and that combination with the questionnaire we created on Survey Monkey has led us to a place where we are ready to start discerning what adjustments need to be made this summer and why now with the plane on the ground is the best time to make these adjustments:
1 – Excitement for September: Change is not a bad thing, and giving something for students to look forward to is never a bad thing and there is something about not allowing students to get too comfortable in a pattern that can be really healthy. Students are for the most part early adopters, and many thrive on change.
2 – Self Reflection: Its time to objectively look at the year that was and discern, are we effectively doing what God wants us to? Are we living out our call to make disciples, and truly assessing if this is happening can be very difficult while the plane is at cruising altitude with the throttle pinned. So stand back and take a good hard look at every nut and bolt.
3 – You might have to kill a sacred cow: The change that might need to be made might mean getting rid of something that students love, but you know is a roadblock to growth, a hindrance to vision and momentum. This is much more effectively done at this time of year than mid-season. Students may be upset, but changing big things in the summer gives you months as opposed to days to have conversations and find a suitable replacement.
If there are things that are broken, now is the time to fix them. But like an airline, they don’t wait for parts to break, they anticipate problems and maintain proactively and we should be doing the same. Looking ahead to next year, does your youth program have the parts in place to fly higher than last year, or is a mid flight problem coming, or worse an emergency landing. Summer is not that long, but its prime time for change and maintenance.
We are wheels up in 2 months friends!