Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders 9 Things That Will Help Grow Your Ministry

9 Things That Will Help Grow Your Ministry

If you are anything like me, you can get overwhelmed because your “things to do” list is way bigger than your “things done” list. I love structure and systems and if I don’t have it, I’m literally all over the place (which it doesn’t help that our offices are being re-done and we are office-less for 6 weeks). Even during my normal work week, I need structure and I have blocked out times for when I work on sermons, answer emails, think about future etc.

I want to be productive, so whenever I’m not sure what to spend time on, I default to one of these. Maybe you do them already, maybe not, but I thought I would share some things you can do today that will help your ministry thrive tomorrow.

Call a volunteer and thank them:  I have been really intentional; whenever a volunteer pops up in my head I stop what I am doing and call them or shoot them a text to let them know I’m thinking of them and am thankful for them. It means the world.

Spend an hour planning for the rest of the year: What big event do you have coming up? What camp things are far enough out that you have not thought about them yet. Spend this hour to get ahead on something in the future so when the stress of the incoming event happens, you already were on top of it.

Spend some time thinking about who could join your team: I don’t know if your ministry is like mine, but volunteers don’t seem to come out of the woodwork to come and work with teenagers. We have to have the skills of a college football recruiter to make sure we have the adult power we need to run a ministry. You can spend some time today thinking about and gathering contact info on potential volunteers and begin to pray for them.

Spend some time planning your next volunteer training/get together: We have one coming up next month. We are doing a dinner, a training and a minor league baseball game. It’s not until the end of next month but why not work on the details today to get ahead? It sneaks up on you.

Ask leaders about stories of life change: They are the boots on the ground so they know and see stories of how God is transforming students in your ministry. Gather them and then spread them. There is nothing more powerful than a good story of life change.

Pick out a good book to go through with your team/volunteers: As the leader, I want our team to grow. We just started to go through the book In The Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen together. Each week I come up with questions and we discuss the book together.

Get on a campus:  Tuesdays are campus days for our team. We try to block out lunch to go on campuses or speak at any Christian Clubs or FCA that will allow us. Go into their world this week.

Find a network: I try to get lunch or coffee with another local youth pastor once a week. Enough with this competition thing; we can’t reach every student by ourselves. Get to know people who are passionate about what you are passionate about also.

Send a card to a student  Snail mail is the best thing now. Students freak out when they get a card in the mail. Facebook posts and texts are “OK,” but a hand written note in the mail speaks volumes of value. Let’s resurrect this lost art.

I’m sure there are a ton more things you can add to this list, but here are some things you can do today to help tomorrow be a good day in ministry. What are your go-to things to do?  


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Justin Knowles is the Lead Next-Gen Pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley in San Dimas, CA. He oversees junior high, high school and college ministries at the church and is passionate about reaching students. He also blogs regularly and creates content for Downloadyouthministry.com.