How New Ideas Affect Your Youth Ministry

Easter marks a transition time when our ministry starts brainstorming new ideas for next year. The goal is to dream big in the spring, plan in the summer and implement in the fall. Over the years, some of the new ideas that we’ve thought of have emerged into awesome initiatives. On the flip side, some of them failed.

You need to dream big and conjure up new ideas in youth ministry. Youth ministry is dynamic and relevant in the lives of teenagers because of all its creativity. For some it’s easy to be creative, for others it takes some work. Fears and incompetencies can bring delays to implementing your ideas; however, as long as you are aware of the pitfall there shouldn’t be much to worry about. To survive any of the obstacles, you need to understand that new ideas affect your ministry by:

DIVERTING ATTENTION: In order for a new project to get off the ground, it needs the majority of your attention. That means something will suffer. Instead of trying to do it all, prepare ahead of time by delegating responsibility to your leaders. Make sure that whatever you are letting go of has someone’s upmost love.

INCREASING THE WORK LOAD: New ideas mean more work upfront for bigger gain down the road. This is because there is so much planning and brainstorming. To handle the increased work load, be sure to set parameters around your life so that you are able to gain rest. Make sure you communicate this with your family and ask someone to hold you accountable. Don’t let something new burn you out.

TAKING YOU OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE: New ideas can mean risks and failure. When you take on new ideas, that means trying something that could rock the boat. To successfully work out of your comfort zone, tap into as many resources as possible and talk with others who have had a simliar situation. The best way to work out of your comfort zone is with like-minded people.

GENERATING EXCITEMENT: Newness brings excitement and a buzz to your ministry. While this will speed up the pace of your ministry, it can bring in people who may have never have been exposed. Anytime you have something new, it means dream big on how you will handle it and don’t be afraid to share it.

Good or bad, anytime you do something new there are risks. To get those ideas growing you need to share them. If you don’t, those new ideas will wither away. Gain feedback, try it out and take a risk. The only way to see if new ideas are actually good ones is by giving them a chance for failure.

What other consequences (good or bad) come from doing something new?  

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Chris Wesley
Chris graduated from Xavier University in 2003 with a BA in Communications: Electronic Media. He moved to Baltimore in the fall of 2003 where he served as a Jesuit Volunteer for a year. During that time, he was a Case Manager at Chase Brexton, met my wife Kate and felt God's calling to Student Ministry. In the summer of 2004, heI was hired by the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as a Middle School Youth Minister. Today he oversees grades 5-12 as the Director of Student Ministry.

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