The youth group world is interesting, to say the least. A large percentage of youth directors are hired to replace a previous youth director who royally screwed up. How do we know that? The national average youth job tenure is 18 months!
Nobody likes to hear someone blame their issues on the last guy. Ask every president in our nation’s history. You only get away with blaming the last guy for a couple months, then it’s your problem to fix. Why is that? Because they KNEW the issues with the person before you, and that’s why they hired you. They hired you to fix it: so, fix it.
Some thoughts from the R3 Team:
Be honest and identify the weaknesses in your ministry. Believe me, your church knows the existing issues, and blaming them on someone who is no longer there does not endear you toward your parents and co-workers.
Set a goal to strengthen the areas you are weak. It’s not enough to identify them, you have to take the proper steps to be better. If you don’t know how to do that, ask for help. Humility goes a long way.
Build on what worked well before you got there. If the person preceding you had an element of their ministry that was absolutely amazing, GIVE THEM CREDIT FOR IT. Then, keep that momentum going. The only thing worse than trying to claim credit for an aspect of the ministry for which you have no right claiming, is killing an aspect of ministry that is thriving.
Don’t blame COVID-19. This may seem unfair, but it’s true. Everyone is in the same boat. Everyone is struggling. Everyone has lost relational connections. Everyone is trying to rebuild momentum. Don’t be the person who spends the next 6-8 months blaming your woes on COVID-19: be creative, work harder than ever, and be the person your church hired you to be.