3 Priorities For The New Year In Youth Ministry

It can be overwhelming at the beginning of the new year with so many new goals and resolutions to make (and keep). While it can be overwhelming and daunting, it should not be an excuse to back slide into old ways and half-baked efforts. So how can we keep focus on changes and manage the new goals we have?

Today, I’ll share three P’s that take many goals and simplify them into a larger view of focus that will help you and I keep on track as we go into the new year.

Practices, People, Programs…

Practices: What are the practices you are planning on keeping up with that will help you grow personally? Remember, a healthy faith and life will lead to a healthy ministry. Take a look at 5 New Year Resolutions for Youth Workers to give you ideas for some potential goals.

  • Now write a list of the essential practices you need to add into your routine this year…
  • Now write down when you will do them and make sure you schedule them into your calendar. Discipleship of tomorrow requires us to be intentional and specific today…

People: Who are the people in your life and ministry who need greater investment in your life. I find it helpful to pray and then list the people God is bringing to my attention. Of course, our own family should be a priority, but after that, who are the people God is bringing to your attention. Now, people are so much more than a list, but they won’t hear from us unless they become a priority and are written down in our priorities. There’s something about praying and writing down the names of the people who need your investment for a given week.

Each week, consider praying and creating a list, then following up with the students, leaders, parents, and people in your ministry. What could happen if this became a weekly habit?

Programs: As you look at how your programs work to disciple students, how are they working? What one or two things need to be tweaked and changed this year?  Here are some questions to consider:

  1. Does your ministry reach out to non-Christians? Do your students know how to invest in others and share their faith?
  2. Does your ministry help students to experience true fellowship?
  3. Does it help students to grow in their faith, or do they just ‘know’ about faith?
  4. Does your ministry help students serve in the church and in your local community?
  5. Does your ministry help students understand and live out a life of worship?

How are you keeping your goals attainable? How are you able to keep focused in a new year when there are so many things and people needing your attention? How can these three P’s help you narrow your focus and ensure that foundational areas are given your time and focus? 

Phil <><

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2 Responses to 3 Priorities For The New Year In Youth Ministry

  1. John Mulholland January 2, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    Great thoughts Phil! Our friend Stephanie Caro would call this “balcony time”…a time to reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going.

    I’m curious, how often do you take time to reflect? In a “formal” setting? Do you do so with your leaders? What does this time look like?

  2. Phil Bell January 2, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    John, great question! For me personally, I tend to reflect in ministry seasons when I am able to breathe in a little more… Easter, the beginning of summer, (when I plan the whole Fall), Thanksgiving, and Christmas into New Year.

    In terms of reflecting and evaluating with my leaders, this is part of our meeting DNA which occurs every two months. In particular we have a end of summer gathering as we prepare for the Fall, and we also have a small group leaders huddle planned for October.

    Does that answer your question? Happy New Year John!

    Phil <

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