The excitement of fall kickoff has subsided and now you are in the meat of your youth ministry year. It feels good because most of the rust is off and you are just turning that wheel to keep things going. Most times it’s easy to think, “Okay, smooth sailing ahead.” But that rarely works because after a while obstacles, responsibilities and distractions will build up. Ministry will get harder, people will find more reasons to bail and the momentum that was created in the fall will be completely gone. How do you keep it going? How do you build momentum in the middle of your year?
Change Things Up – You want to show that your ministry is willing to change without showing instability. That means changing up the topics in which you talk about, and possibly rearranging the format of your program. Just as you are supposed to change up a workout routine to stimulate new muscles, you’ll want to change a few things up in youth ministry to stimulate new faith growth.
Pour Into Your Team – Half way through the year your team is going to grow tired and even a little burned out. Maybe their small group hasn’t maintained the attendance they wanted, or they could be dealing with a teen in crisis. It’s even possible that a major issue in their personal life is going on. Even if it’s a one-day mini retreat, pour into them, and cheer them on. Give them the motivation they need.
Doing Something New – Whenever something or someone is new a little excitement forms. Whether it’s a new video game in your hangout space or a new speaker delivering the message, take advantage of its freshness by promoting it. While it might not be the most mind blowing achievement, new always brings about some momentum.
Pace Yourself As A Leader – When the craziness of a season subsides it’s important that you as a leader take the time to cool down. That might mean revisiting your schedule and working within the limits. It could mean taking a day of Sabbath to reconnect with God. If you aren’t ready for the long haul, neither will your ministry. To maintain momentum you need to be willing to push it when it is needed, so rest up.
Ideally you want your ministry to consistently grow on the same trajectory over time; however, that isn’t realistic. You are going to find obstacles and distractions and that’s why it’s important to rest. You will face hitting a rut and that’s why it’s important to shake things up. There is no exact science to how much newness, change or motivation one should pour into their ministry; however, if there isn’t enough momentum will slide.
How do you build momentum mid year in your ministry?
Chris Wesley is the Director of Student Ministry at Church of the Nativity in Timonium, MD. You can read more great youth ministry articles and thoughts on his exceptional blog Marathon Youth Ministry.