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What I learned about ministry in 2008

What I learned about ministry in 2008I did this for 2007 and thought it appropriate to reflect back on what I learned about ministry in 2008.

  1. Communicating a clear vision for my ministry is probably the most important thing for my leadership, building trust, and the kids’ spiritual growth.
  2. I need to utilize parents in every aspect of the ministry as much as possible.
  3. Saying “no” to teenagers and parents is very critical to the health of our ministry.
  4. I must always lead by example. I should never expect the teenagers to follow my challenges until I am first modeling it in my own life.
  5. I will not always have a great relationship with every teenager, and that’s okay.
  6. Everyone has different expectations of the youth ministry and most of them I can respectfully ignore if the vision is clearly communicated.
  7. People don’t naturally follow until they know where they’re going and why.
  8. I need to keep my teaching to jr. highers much more concrete with only one clear “big idea.”
  9. It’s okay to let parents and teens take personal responsibility for raising funds for youth trips and events.
  10. I am very intolerant of people who distort the Gospel.
  11. Most kids really do want to go deep into God’s Word more than they want to play games, even unbelievers.
  12. I can do almost anything if I have my wife’s love and support.

Posted on December 31, 2008

  • Hey Tim love the post. I did something similar over at my blog talking about Resolutions for Ministries in 2009. would love some of your thoughts

  • In your first point: Communicating a clear vision for my ministry is probably the most important thing for my leadership, building trust, and the kids’ spiritual growth.

    I am curious how you do this? What is your method about enrolling others about your vision? And do others (adult volunteers, wife, students, other pastors) contribute in developing what the exact vision is?

    Is there a difference between telling people what to do and inciting a Kingdom movement?

    What is the most effective way to get the idea/vision to move within the students?

    Also, what do you mean by: I am very intolerant of people who distort the Gospel? In your perspective what are the key ingredients to the Gospel?
    Do you get mad at the people who use different methods to communicate the gospel message? or do you get mad when some of the message is toyed with?

  • @jeremy zach: Good questions!

    I’d recommend reading “Tribes” by Seth Godin for a modern look at what vision casting looks like for leaders, but basically it’s me painting a compelling picture for what the youth ministry could (and should) look like in our church, something that generates excitement, that people can really rally behind and sink their teeth into. It’s also giving direction to that vision so that people are excited about where they’re going together with you as their leader. It starts by seeking the Lord for His vision for your ministry alongside of other people who are involved and together fleshing it out and communicating it others around us. It’s really an exciting process. When you’re passionate about what God’s doing and how He’s leading, people can’t help but be attracted to it, or at least curious.

    And by the Gospel statement, I’m intolerant of people to distort it’s message, not people who use different methods to communicate it (God uses more methods of communicating it than anyone else!). Without getting into a theological debate, the core of the Gospel is this: Jesus is God, our sin separates us from the relationship with Him that He originally created us for (spiritual death), Jesus paid our death penalty in our place and rose from the dead to prove it, forgiveness is freely available to anyone to places their faith and trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sin. That is truly “good news!” I get upset pretty quickly if you start adding Lordship theology to the mix. You can choose to disagree with me, and that’s totally fine — I’m just telling you that it makes me upset when people distort the truth.

  • @ Tim

    Funny you mention the book Tribes. I just read it and loved it and that is why your first point caught my eye.

    For the good news I am right there with you.

  • Great post Tim. enjoyed it. I’v been thinking through the last year for a bit now and have learned many lessons to (I hope) apply in 2009.

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