Life, liberty and the pursuit of…busyness? No matter what stage of life you are in, if you are an American, there’s a good chance that you’re busy—or at least feel as if you are. American culture has programmed us to fill our schedules with activity. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with being active—and for good reason. Work is a part of us; God gave us a desire to work and excel at the things we feel called to.
The doer mentality can carry over in the way we try to develop our Gospel Advancing Ministry. We schedule hangouts with students, new sermon series, events and fundraising projects to ensure that nothing is left to chance. Deep down inside, we youth leaders want to see our ministries thrive and students come to Christ in explosive ways. When our ministry misses the mark, it can take the wind out of our sails.
Sometimes our efforts to see things change within the lives of our youth get swept away in our busyness. We rationalize that if we’re not “doing, doing, doing,” then something is wrong. So we get wrapped up in meetings, instead of mission. There is a difference between activity and impact.
Gospel Advancing Ministries focus on creating impact and not just generating buzz or activity within the youth group. This stems from a desire for our youth ministry efforts to produce outcomes that are biblical. For this reason, it’s important to structure our ministry to not just be busy with youth activity, but to have the kinds of biblical outcomes seen in the book of Acts.
Here are twelve tips that can help you accelerate your ministry impact.
Try This! ❯
Identify three tips that resonate with you. Then, take steps to fold those three ideas into your ministry this week.
1. Ask tough questions.
Evaluate your ministry by asking this question: What are my programs, messages and calendars communicating? If the inputs of your ministry aren’t offering biblical outcomes, revaluate your ministry efforts.
2. Live outside the four walls.
Identify your Cause Turf and stay committed to being a church that lives on mission. This will help create gospel advancing outcomes like new conversion growth or the percentage of new confessions of faith within a given time period. Another opportunity for producing the kinds of biblical outcomes seen in the book of Acts is by reaching across the tracks.
3. Have tough conversations.
The politically correct cultural milieu has made it difficult to talk about biblical values. Don’t shy away from having tough conversations that will lead students to explore the truth of Christianity. That is, biblical outcomes occur when your ministry commits itself to biblical truth.
4. Teach the Bible.
5. Develop measurable tools to help evaluate biblical outcomes.
Figure out ways to evaluate your biblical outcomes through different tools like using surveys. For instance, take a day and evaluate the entire ministry’s knowledge of key evangelistic tools like the GOSPEL acrostic or the Ask-Admire-Admit approach to spiritual conversations. Dare 2 Share offers a diagnostic tool for Gospel Advancing Ministries.
6. Train your leadership with gospel-advancing resources.
Biblical outcomes are nourished through sound leadership and good teaching. Help create a gospel-advancing framework by training new and existing leadership. Dare 2 Share has a great full-year team training resource called Gospelize Your Team.
Biblical outcomes are nourished through sound leadership and good teaching. Click To Tweet
7. Strengthen the things that are producing biblical outcomes.
Don’t neglect your strengths. If something is working well in your ministry, then continue to focus on strengthening it.
8. Evaluate areas of need.
Routinely ask yourself—and especially your students and leaders—what are areas that the ministry can improve on? Find your weak spots, and then seek out ways to improve by reaching out to mentors like Dare 2 Share Certified Trainers.
9. Get rid of ineffective areas.
If something in your youth ministry programming fails to serve its purpose, then consider getting rid of it. (A word of caution: there are some aspects of ministry that may not have a desired impact but are still essential to living out gospel advancement.) Check out last week’s article on 4 Essential Questions to Gain Biblical Outcomes.
10. Safeguard your time.
What is filling up your plate? While there is nothing wrong with working hard and trying to stay active, activity can be harmful if its blocking creativity and the right kinds of service, so make sure you safeguard your time and take care of yourself.
11. Learn from the past.
The climate of your ministry is the sum of your past inputs and activity. Learn from the past by thinking through the history of your ministry and adjust when needed.
12. Focus on the future.
Regardless of where your ministry is at, the future has not been written. Use this as an encouragement to stay focused and continue to pursue ministry impact.
The busyness of ministry will not go away, but as a youth leader, when you can focus on the right kinds of outcomes you’ll accelerate your ministry impact.