Develop a Plan
This is another post for another day, but basically, once you gather info and address trends, you’ll need to make a plan. What will you address? Can you do it all at once? Are some trends more long-term in their solution? Do you have big problems? Are you doing more fine tuning than bulldozing? Your plan will be impacted by your available resources, but you still need a plan. Don’t develop your plan in a vacuum. Use your team. If you don’t have a team, make one. Pull in a few key student leaders and your best two adult volunteers (or your only two!).
Find a Sounding Board
Once you and your team have developed your plan, seek out people whose opinions you trust and run your plan by them. And ask them to approach it with a critical eye. After all, you’re looking for solutions. Make sure the individual feels empowered to make suggestions.
Once you have a plan, you’ll more than likely need to put it in front of your leadership. Don’t just show the suggested changes. Be prepared to walk through the entire process, how you got where you are. Embrace a spirit of compromise. There may be changes you will have to let go of or hold off for a while. The goal is improvement. If you can make three out of five suggested changes, that’s progress.
Implement as a Group
As you prepare for fall and you’re ramping up for the new school year, present your findings and your plan to all of your respective groups. If you have a youth staff, present it to them. Present it to your adult volunteers. And present it to your students. Incorporate all affected parties into your plan. Make people a part of the solution. Empower people to push back or offer suggestions. Keep the plan and the goals associated with it in front of you throughout the year. Do another assessment in January. See how you’ve done and make changes accordingly.
Complacency is a killer, both in our personal spiritual lives and in the life of our youth ministry. Change is hard. And implementing effective change is especially hard. Wanting to change or be better is not good enough. It takes intentionality and commitment to make real change.
But by utilizing this summer as an opportunity for prayerful evaluation of your ministry, you are taking the first step in the right direction.