When teens and parents won’t commit to youth programs

When no one commits to youth programs1. People don’t commit to programs. They commit to relationships. One of the first questions a kid asks before signing up for a youth trip: “Who else is going?” Most people don’t care about the program, the trip, or the event as much as they care about the people they’ll be with. How is your ministry leveraging relationships with teens, both peer relationships and adult relationships? Does the program serve the spiritually encouraging relationships or do the people serve the program?

2. People don’t commit to programs. They commit to vision. People rally behind a vision, rarely behind a program. Passionately communicate the vision for your ministry and get people on board with that. When the vision is contagious and people understand how they fit into the big overall picture, then they become excited about the program that may guide them there. People want to be part of a movement, something that is significant and is bigger than they are. Where is your youth ministry going? How compelling is the direction? Are you passionate about it or is it just a statement typed on a piece of paper?

Programs are here to serve the relationships, the vision of your ministry, and ultimately to bring glory to God as a body of Christ, not the other way around. If you’re spending a lot of energy trying to get people to commit to your programs, you have it all backwards.

It should never be about the program in the first place.

Posted on March 23, 2009

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