Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fighting with Mediocrity

Youth ministry is a such a week in and week out grind. It's easy to become complacent and put the ministry on cruise control. It's especially easy when you're not full time. When you have another job, family requirements, a life outside of church, and you're not always focused on doing youth ministry.

Having a job is not a bad thing, it just makes what we do in youth ministry harder!

There are a few areas in which I believe you must fight the mediocrity urge in order to be most effective when ministering to students.

1. Attendance- if you start having a consistent core of students showing up on a week in, week out basis, it may become easy to get complacent. Anytime you've prepared a night for youth ministry anyone who walks through your door brings you excitement.  I remember when I first started as a youth pastor. about 30 minutes before start time I would have this internal argument in my head. It would go something like,

"I've put an hour into setting up, I hope people show up!" 

"No one's really going to come, a few students at best" 

"No! I think this week is different, they're even going to bring a friend or two" 

"They never bring friends, who are you kidding?!" 

And this dance would go on and on swirling around in my head. I would literally rejoice when I started to build a solid core group of students for a Wednesday night event.  It is easy to get locked into that number because any number of students is a success. The consistent core of students is safe, and there is not danger in stepping outside of that group to reach un-churched friends.  Student ministries are most effective when you are reaching out. Never stop that. Fight the urge to be mediocre in your attendance.

2. Teaching- since life is busy. It is hard to sit down and prepare a solid week-in, week-out teaching.  The urge would be to put this area of Student ministry on "cruise control" and just talk about something. I mean who really ever remembers a teaching, or a sermon? Does how the room looks really matter? Do videos, powerpoints, and games really matter? It is only going to be the same few kids anyway! YES, all of these things are important! Because students can tell when there is only a "half-way" effort put in. They are not proud of the product, and therefore, the aforementioned "attendance" area dwindles. Youth group is kinda lame, and everyone knows it, but they still go out of obligation. However no one new will be checking it out anytime soon. Don't become complacent in  your teaching! (Of course if you need help, browse our database).

3. Your Spiritual Walk- this one is the most important one. If Christ is not the center of your own life first, everything is out of whack!! You can't take students to a place that you are not regularly going yourself. God's love will spill out of the overflow of your heart. Make spending time with him on a daily basis a priority. Don't substitute your youth ministry prep time for your own personal devotions. Time is the most precious commodity in our lives. Make sure God is getting the best, most important, most precious portion of your time. He deserves it.

Always fight for excellence in your student ministry. If we are offering this program up to God as a spiritual act of worship, it better be something that we will be proud of. Something we've done our best on. Something that isn't mediocre. Something with a hint of excellence.


We are having an enormous, youth worker give away. Click the image below for details!

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