I can't express how exciting it has been to travel all over the nation talking with many area pastors and youth leaders about the amazing things God has been doing in the ministries in your area. Hearing these amazing war-stories makes me thrilled to come join you all in the fight for the hearts and souls of this generation.
Recently a friend of mine, Pastor Jack Redmond shared with me a testament of what God is doing in his youth group. Since I wanted to be able to share it with all of you, he has graciously written the article below.
God Has a Plan – Does Your Youth Ministry?
God is the greatest planner that ever existed! In fact He wrote down His plan in the 66 books of the Bible. He even sent Jesus to us to demonstrate and live it. For instance, God had a plan to overcome sin from the moment of Creation (Rev. 13:8b).
He even has individual plans for our life as the prophet Jeremiah found out: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." Jeremiah 1:5a
Jesus prayed and picked His 12 disciples. He sent out the 70 in pairs to minister. He had a plan to reach each and every person on the planet called the Great Commission. He told His followers to pray and wait until they received power on the day of Pentecost. So if Jesus had a plan and we are told to be like Him, shouldn't we have a plan?
Great People With Little or No Plan
Youth Ministry is filled with great people, with great dreams but precious few have a workable plan to achieve it. Yes, we have to depend on God. Yes, we have to be led by the Holy Spirit, but many times we use this thinking as an excuse for our underdeveloped plans. Still others of us don't even know we need a plan. I know what it is like to work myself into total exhaustion without really achieving much or even knowing what my real goal is. Through pain and time, I learned that God has a plan, and so should I!
One of the tools I have recently discovered is a Youth Leader training curriculum called Double Vision developed by Ron Luce of Teen Mania Ministries. This is the best youth ministry tool that I have yet to come across.
So How Are Your BHAGs Going?
One of the things Double Vision teaches is to set big goals. After you have BHAGs (Big, Holy, Anointed, Goals), break them down into critical success factors (CSFs). CSFs are smaller steps that must happen if you are to achieve your BHAG. From there, CSFs are assigned to individual people who are responsible for making that CSF happen.
Several things happen when you follow this process. First you shoot for a big goal that gets people motivated. Secondly, you break it down to make it believable as you raise up leaders to share the weight of ministry. Thirdly, somebody is responsible for getting things done. It really brings the law of sowing and reaping to life. Whatever people pour their time and energy into, that is where we get fruit.
Here's one of my BHAGs for this school year: double our Teen Church attendance. I have broken it down to 5 critical success factors: getting people through the door, having a great atmosphere, utilizing youth as a part of the ministry, making it possible for the youth to encounter God in every service, and diligently following up on the members and visitors of the group.
By breaking these five CSF's down into tasks that people are responsible and accountable for, the work is producing fruit. This principle of delegation is the only way any one area of a ministry can grow.
Any goal can be broken down in this manner. Put this principle into practice and I'm sure that you will begin to see greater results from your efforts. You will also see a stronger youth ministry team as everyone begins to play a part in the ministry.
This is just one principle found in Double Vision. To learn more about growing your youth ministry, got to BattleCry.com. There are DVD clips, ways to connect with youth pastors in your area and more. All over the nation we will also be hosting Acquire the Fire Youth events and BattleCry stadium events geared towards teens. It will spark a passion in the souls of all attending to make a difference in their world.
If you are in youth ministry, I can guarantee that you have a big dream of how you want to reach this generation for Christ. If God has called you to minister to youth, it is His plan for that ministry to prosper! You have the passion and purpose and God has the power. It is up to you to hear from God, use solid principles and watch your dream unfold. So what's your plan?
Jack Redmond is the director of Impact Youth Ministry at Christ Church in Montclair, NJ. He is currently the Co-Chairman for the Tri-State Battle Cry event and overseeing a series of free youth leader trainings throughout the Tri-State area. He can be reached at 973-783-1010 x 226 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more or register for one of these trainings.
Ron Luce is the founder of Teen Mania, one of the world's largest Christian youth organizations, which inspires, empowers, and equips teens to reject the negative influences of pop culture and embrace the "coolness" of Christ. This year, Teen Mania is rallying hundreds of thousands of teens in the BattleCry movement to save their generation. For more information, visit www.BattleCry.com.