How to keep up with a growing youth group: You can’t!

A month ago I wrote about how our youth ministry and our church in general are numerically growing like crazy. As the trend continues, I’m quickly being forced to multiply myself many times over by developing youth leaders to do the work of the ministry. If the ministry depends only on me, then we’ll always be limited to whatever I can accomplish within my tiny little work week, but if it’s not all dependent on one limited person (me!) we can scale with it exponentially.

I have a meeting tonight with a couple youth leaders to discuss some of the growing pains we’re experiencing and how we can alleviate some of the pressures the tremendous growth has presented. My proposal is to form several teams that will each focus on one area of the ministry and run with it. Download my meeting agenda below for a synopsis of the proposal.

I can’t keep up with the the constant growth of our youth ministry, but as a team we can.

PDF iconYouth leadership team meeting agenda: Proposal for sustaining growth

[UPDATE: I love my youth leaders! They’re so sharp and have great minds and hearts for ministry. We had our meeting tonight and they wisely pointed out to me that evangelism should be a part of everything we do, not a separate team. So we eliminated the evangelism team from my list and will incorporate an intentional reach for unsaved students in all the other areas of ministry.]

Posted on October 3, 2007

  • Robert C.

    Tim that looks great. I'm having the same "problem" so to speak. It's a good one to have. But my question is how do you know keep up with 7-8 different teams? Do you plan on meeting with them separately? How does that work out?

    I'm really curious!

  • Tim

    @ Kevin: Yeah, I hadn't made the Jethro connection to all this. Thanks for pointing that out.

    @ Robert: I'm not really a big fan of meetings unless there's a lot of info that needs to be discussed with a group of people, so I probably won't be meeting with each team. I'll stay in communication with the leader of each team by email, phone, Sunday morning conversations, whatever, but when I delegate, I don't just delegate the responsibility of the task, I also delegate the authority that goes along with it. I think that's the difference between having little helpers and empowering leaders. I give the team complete freedom to run with the idea and in matters regarding their area of ministry, most of the time I let them tell ME what to do. I'll often give some direction, input and expectations, which they always heed because they're cool like that, but there have been times when a team does something I probably wouldn't do. As long as it's not heretical or critically detrimental in some way, I give them the freedom to proceed anyway after they've heard my concerns. Sometimes I'm wrong and it works out great, sometimes it's a learning experience for them. Either way, there's a positive result. I'm obviously not a control freak and I'm definitely not a micro-manager, so I'll let teams run fairly unhindered when they understand the vision of their ministry role and we'll just check in with each other from time to time as necessary. We actually already have several teams that function like this in our ministry, they're just not officially designated as such yet. It's really not a time sucker. I go to them if I have a question and they come to me if they have a question. Pretty simple.

  • Looks like a great agenda. It’s awesome that you are following in the footsteps of Moses and listening to Jethro.(Exodus 18:17-27. I love how he puts it “That will make your load lighter because they will share it with you”
    I’m praying that you get the right people fit into those roles and not just warm bodies… blessings bro!

  • Tim:

    I am glad that the meeting went well. When we were in Alabama, we moved to more of team ministries concept. For us ( maybe to help Robert ) we had an ACTS team ( Attract, Connect, Transform and Send ). We had a ACTS coordinator who worked directly with me. We then had a coordinator for each team. The teams would meet to do their work and then the coordinators would meet. It laid the foundation for great ministry outside of Sunday. These team members were adults outside of worship and small group leaders so they were able to just focus on their areas.

    Tim, in theory, I agree with your leaders (on evengelism) . HOWEVER, if you are going to have "evangelism events", you will need a team overseeing them so they are not in your lap – so a team needs to be in place – may be a different name so you can put the evangelism emphasis in everything – if that makes sense.

  • Tim

    @ Jeff: I think any specific "evangelism events" would fall under the events team at this point, but really, every event we do is for two reasons: 1) Build relationships; 2) Connect with pre-saved/unchurched students. So, in that sense, every event is is an outreach event. Evangelism events, where the gospel is clearly shared, will still fall under the events team.

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