There are many people who do not like using the term “strategy” in their ministries. The objection often stems from the feeling that “strategy” equals “overly-programmed.” Although this can be the case if one is not careful, we would like to argue that one can have a ministry strategy without “over-programming” the Holy Spirit out of your ministry.
Take weightlifting, for example. If you walked into the gym five days each week and decided to train whatever you felt like on that particular day, you would soon find yourself favoring certain muscle groups. Regardless of how sincere or passionate you were, you would inevitably leave something muscles lacking. Think of the classic “skips leg day” guy; very strong in the upper body, but very weak in the lower body. It’s a physique that is build for show, not for functionality.
Our Youth Ministries can easily fall into the same trap if we are not disciplined in our planning. Some of us are very gifted in being expositors and teachers of the Scriptures. Some are gifted in having extraordinary hearts and eyes for missions and serving. Many are incredibly relational and draw students to Christ through discipleship. Others are phenomenal worship leaders who have the gifts and passion to train up a generation of students who love to worship their Lord and Savior.
This is where strategy helps lay out guardrails for our ministries. This is where strategy helps us commit to giving our students a full experience of the Christian walk. Program an intentional time where you focus on building biblical knowledge. Create time for regular service and missions throughout the year. Make space for outreach and fellowship events. Train up a generation that knows how and why we worship. Do more than tell your students about a well-rounded Christian walk: lead them.
We tend to focus on the things we love, and that’s not a bad thing. God has given you those gifts so that you might be effective for His kingdom for His name’s sake. But we are not called to stop there. Force yourself to give your students a full-scope ministry. Find volunteers who are strong in areas that you are weak. Put effort into strengthening your weaknesses. Give your students a fully functional faith; they deserve and need a Christian walk that doesn’t skip leg day.
How do you provide a ministry for your students that intentionally and effectively incorporates a full-scope Christian walk?