Lets cut straight to the chase, the one small shift that can make the greatest difference in your ministry is to give ministry away. I know, not profound, not cutting edge and its not the first time you have every heard this idea. The difference between this idea being a catalyst for your ministry or just another saying you say out loud but do nothing about is what you do next.
Giving ministry away was something I always said but was so difficult for me to actually pull off. In my pride I thought if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done right. My pride always holds me back from seeing what God can truly pull off. I am still really bad at it but I am trying harder than I ever have before in my 13 years of student ministry experience to pull others into the incredible chaos and allow their gifts to be championed and encouraged to have Kingdom impact.
Some practical tips:
Meet with your volunteers often - It will be difficult to know how to use people if you don't know them. Get with them, be a learner of their life.
Development Takes Time - This may mean that that the person you have delegated to doesn’t do it as well as you might. Thats ok, coach them, give them time and a chance, invest in them and see what it could look like.
Be Creative With What You Give Away - Do what only you can do and give away the rest. It could be an opportunity to develop new opportunities based on the strengths of your leaders and students.
Give Feedback - Help your team with productive constructive feedback. This type of feedback gives points to work on, clarity on what needs done next time so that they can implement the action steps.
Rinse and Repeat - Don’t stop once you’ve started. This is something that has to turn into a value for you in your ministry.
This includes students in your ministry. How can you unleash the potential in your adult volunteers and student leaders in your ministry? This isn’t something that doesn’t take any work and on the front end will take more effort and work on your part. However, giving ministry away is essential to your role as a Kingdom builder and to help people use their gifts in a powerful way.
I have never been a huge “outdoorsy” guy or someone who desires to rock climb, scale a cliff face at Yosemite or scale Everest. That kind of activity isn’t something that gets me going! I can totally understand why people love it. I am sure there is some sense of accomplishment by the actual physical activity but the real reward is making it to the top to see how far you have come. I have been to the top of Pike’s Peak in Colorado. Why would I climb to the peak when they have a perfectly good road to the top where I can drive and save myself the time? It was incredible to look out over miles and miles of God’s creation. Down the mountain you could see the lush green valley and the city of Colorado Springs. You could also see the Rockies as the mountain range stretched over miles and miles. That moment is etched into my brain, it was awe inspiring. We have these types of moments in our faith as well and they are so important. As a student pastor these mountain top moments may look different for you than it does for your students.
1. Mountain Top moments are when you feel close to God like never before.
Mountain Top Moments make you feel like you are really in the presence of our creator and king. These are powerful and life shaping moments that I believe God uses to give us an idea of whats to come!
I remember being a high school student headed to summer camp in New York. I remember the worship, “This is the Air I breath” was my jam. I remember the speaker, not his name but what he said challenged me to the core. I remember the decisions I made that week to change how I as going about my life. It was a pivotal week in my faith journey. It was one of my first mountain top moments that I will never forget.
2. Are you giving your students the opportunity to have mountain top spiritual moments?
Are you creating times where teenagers can get away from the routine of life they are currently in and spend intentional time with our Savior. We’re talking about Summer Camps, Missions Trips, Retreats, Get Aways, Discipleship Meetings, even regular church programming. These moments are faith-shapers. Teenagers need to know that the mountain isn’t forbidden, its attainable and all are welcome.
Obviously within these moments there is a place to teach, guide and shepherd. Some students feel loss when they lose sight of that feeling and those emotions. The truth is… its ok. It’s ok to feel different and not feel the same. The feelings are not what fuel our faith, its the experience that allow us perspective and allow us self evaluate. God uses that perspective to help us make necessary changes in our lives that propel us into greater knowledge and love for Him.
3. Are you planning for the moments?
Are you looking at your calendar and planning for moments, or times where you want to lean in a little harder to what God may be trying to teach the teenagers you shepherd? Your year starts now, it starts with a plan and ends with praying like everything depends on God (because it does).
What mountain top moments are you praying for this year??