Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Youth Ministry needs a healthy "Pace"

This is the final Wednesday night of REMIX for this school year. It has been an amazing year for our weekly gathering and it is has been so clear that students have moved forward in their faith. One of the values we embraced when we launched relevant student ministry here at Grace Community 2 years ago was that programs exist to enhance ministry to teens not hold us in bondage. We started taking program breaks right in the beginning and it has paid off in massive ways for our team and the students connected with relevant. I really do believe that a healthy pace can enhance the programs you lead. I also believe that for many youth ministries the "out of control pace" is killing the staff, volunteers, and training teens to be over dependent on our ministries to entertain them. When did youth discipleship become "just stay busy" and do all kinds of great events? So why do I think a healthy pace can help youth ministries gain momentum...
  • This is the cultural reality of organizations in the life of teenagers. TV shows have seasons, all sports have seasons, and schools have semesters and take breaks. In the life of teenagers things start with energy and end with energy. It is just a cultural norm.
  • Healthy pace in our ministry programs help teens and parents not link spiritual growth to ONLY OUR PROGRAMS.
  • A healthy pace with keep our volunteers excited about serving. Paid and volunteer leaders need time off.
  • Breaks in programing give your team a chance to experiment with other ministry plans! (our team is experimenting with some new idea this summer!)
  • A healthy pace helps to create times of momentum building at the beginning and momentum at the end leading to the "FINALE." At remix we have maintained momentum because we have been leading toward tonight.
  • With a healthy pace you always leave teens wanting more instead of being tired of what your ministry does.
  • A healthy ministry pace with programming helps YOUTH MINISTRY support the church. At GCC ministry to teens and parents keeps rolling in this thing called the SUNDAY MORNING SERVICE. Just a thought! (some of you will not be able to embrace this because you lead a youth ministry that protects teens from the church you work at!)
  • A healthy pace helps you depend on God more that your programs. God brings life change not our weekly deal.
A healthy pace for the ministry will look different for every church culture but I challenge every one of you leading in student ministry to take time to think about pace. MORE is not always better. MORE is not the goal. MORE does not always lead to teens following Christ. FOCUS and a HEALTHY PACE will lead us to a ministry that makes a difference for the long haul.


  1. I love it! It's such a different look at youth ministry, but one that, I believe, benefits both students and volunteers.

    Great connection with the fact that we take breaks in other areas of life.

    Thanks for all you do to minister to students and families!

  2. here is a couple more...

    a healthy pace creates margin that allows the leadership to step back far enough to get view of the bigger picture which allows him or her to lead the ministry where it needs to go, not stay where it's at.

    a healthy pace leads to longevity of a leader which leads to healthy development and discipleship of youth leaders and students. leadership turn over kills momentum.

    Great Thoughts Michael!

  3. Great thoughts guys, thanks for adding those thoughts!

  4. You got it, youth pastors are not entertainment directors.