Heyo Youth Worker Nation!
How often do you evaluate your youth ministry? Taking time for self-examination could prevent some unnecessary crises from occurring. Are you keeping a check on whether or not you are meeting the needs of your students? Neely McQueen tells you how.
I just started working out, trying to get back in shape after having kids. Mind you my youngest is 7, so I am little slow on getting back into shape. Anyway, my workout routine isn’t really what I want to focus on. The reason I bring it up is to talk about how important it is to take your pulse while you exercise. First, taking your pulse allows you to determine if your workout is actually causing your body to work out. Second, taking your pulse keeps you from pushing the emergency stop button on the treadmill because you are working yourself just too hard.
This has me thinking about our students and how we respond to crises in our ministries. It may feel at times that the crisis just sneaks up on us. In reality, there are usually warning signs or red flags that things are not going as they should be.
I have been at my current church for 10 years now and our ministry has looked so different throughout the years. While our mission statement has never changed, our methods have changed. We are constantly evaluating and adjusting to match the needs of our students. A lot of times this evaluation keeps us from crisis. Just last year, with the help of our Celebrate Recovery ministry we launched The Landing because our needs had changed. Had we not paid attention to this need we would have experienced a serious crisis in our students and in our ministry.
While some of our changing needs have been obvious to us, we are learning to value being more intentional. We’ve set a goal in our ministry to attempt to take our pulse twice a year.
It’s healthy to take the pulse in your ministry- to ask the question: Is what I am doing actually getting the desired response?
Consider taking the pulse in your ministry; use a simple survey for students. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Keep it anonymous, so there is no pressure for students to not be honest.
Potential Student Survey Questions:
- Describe your faith?
- Is it easy to share your faith?
- Do you feel comfortable inviting friends to church? Why or why not? (This one can hurt sometimes…so only ask if you are willing to hear it.)
- How can we help you grow more in your faith?
- What do we need to talk about more at church?
- What is one thing you struggle with in your faith?
Look at the results and ask honestly, what are the needs of my students? Is our ministry caring for their current needs?
Evaluation is essential to a healthy ministry.
Taking your pulse can give you insight to your students and their changing needs and prevent crisis in your ministry. It can be simple and easy…and most of time, a whole lot less painful than running a treadmill.
Thanks for taking care of your ministry and students,
*You can get Neely’s perspective as well as other women in youth ministry every Thursday when you sign up for the SYM Today Newsletter!*