Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Strategic Madness

Be strategic when it comes to your ministry opportunities. There is plenty of program to go around in youth ministry and ministry as a whole in the church. And if you can do this well it will help your relationships as you grow in wisdom. One thing that comes to mind off hand is the way we used to move students in and out of venues. When our group was smaller, about eighty students or less, we would just let students and staff move into a room and not really think about how we should deal with it strategically. It was a sea of madness, but it was containable. At that time I was like, ok this is how I will do ministry and it will always work. We figured, on a leadership level, that we could keep tabs on all the students – it was not that hard.

Once our group reach the 80-100 mark we were faced with more decisions. We found that the above method did not work so well. We had kids getting all crazy to the point where we were dealing with hamsters, stink bombs, you know – the youth ministry norm. But we were dedicated to not staying there and wanted to move forward in the ministry size and not lose effectiveness. We had too many students to really know what was going on and by the time that we got to a concern or problem, the culprits were always wise enough to get away with it; well, most of the time anyway.

This is what we did. Instead of bringing the kids up from snack time, game or whatever they were, we stopped them at the door of the sanctuary. They were not allowed to just pour in. when everyone was up and waiting at the doors, we then let the staff volunteers in. The staff were strategically placed throughout the sanctuary in a manner that would cover all areas, from front to back. There was no place for kids to go without getting rolled up on by a staff member. It was great! But that is not even the best part.

Not only did we accomplish our objective, but students naturally gravitated to their group leaders. I mean, DUHHH! This gave our staff a better view of the influence that they had over the students. When we let the kids in they would look for their leaders and sit with them for the most part. It was awesome. As our ministry continued to grow this became engrained into our culture. This model worked no matter how big our group got. So I guess I want you to understand that even the small things you do in your ministry can make a big impact. Keep looking for ways to make stuff better. There is always something else you can tweak. And the more you do that, the less you have to change stuff on a larger scale.

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