KNOWING WHERE TO GO AND TENSIONS IN YOUTH MINISTRY
All ministries in a church
will normally be pulled in four directions which are the history of the
group, the current commitment ability of the group, the goals of the
and the reality of that the group is. In more detail these are
How the leaders, members, past leaders, past members and those outside perceive the background of the group. Some of these pulls are negative and some positive. For example a negative pull maybe "when I was a young our youth group had picnic every weekend." or " when I belonged to youth group everyone was a Christian why not now."
The pull can also be positive for example "our Church has always preached a clear gospel" or " the group has always supported the 40 hour famine."
THE AIM AND GOALS OF THE GROUP
Aims are what the long term philosophy of a group is. For example to run a group for year 7 students that will explain the gospel and provide opportunities for them to respond. The group will grow and reach out to non churched youth.
Goals are when you set specific measurable targets eg. 50 youth in the group, 30 % of the group go to church by fourth term.
The goals and aims of a group may be arrived by
The obvious answer is Plan before the actual direction desired. However many groups never do this. Goals and aims need to be fine tuned regularly and be clear statements
THE CURRENT COMMITMENT ABILITY
Is what the actual group can do. For example to lead a group effectively you need about one leader per seven members plus one leader. That means if you have 35 youth you need 7+1= 8 leaders to run effectively. Secondly you need a number of leaders who can run games, follow up give talks, prepare material organise social events etc. So when someone comes to this group and want it to grow to 50 the group would need an extra 2 or 3 leaders. Also as groups get over 40 the whole nature of the group will change in how it is run. Thus a big tension is what type of program can we run with the present number of leaders involved and what are they capable of.
Thus a goal of the group
maybe to grow but the reality is there is not enough leaders to cover
THE REALITY OF THE GROUP
The reality of the group is what does the group currently look like. Is it the same size or at the spirituality level as the goal? Is it keeping up with its tradition? The reality of the group can be the hardest tension. For example imagine a large youth program which in a 12 month period lost nearly all its key leaders through them moving out of the area or going off to full time ministry or training, the result was the program that was left fell to bits due to lack of leaders and experience. Many people may blame the current or the past youth leader but this are two factors that would not have been forecast. This is a common problem for country areas where many of the youth leader type people move to the city.
These tensions are always
present but when we recognise them it can be a step towards
where we are coming from, why is there stress, and where we are trying
to go to.
HOW TO WRITE DOWN A CLEAR SET OF GOALS.
1. Stated in terms of end results, as past events.
2. Achievable in a definite time frame.
3. Definite and clear in what is expected.
4. Practical and reasonable
5. one key goal per statement.
The aim of the goals is to point the direction. Once they have been made the next step is will it be achievable. For instance you may say we want our group to grow from 10 to 100 in 3 months this would involve each current person to bring 10 people. One or two may be able to do this but probably not the whole group. Secondly with an aim like this would the group have the 15 leaders needed to run a group this big.
AS A GROUP LOOK AT THE FOLLOWING QUESTION?
2. What are the negative aspects of our history?
3. What is the overall aim of the whole youth program?
4. What is the aim of our group?
5. How does this fit in with the rest of the program
6. What are some goals?
7. What do we need to learn for this to occur?
8. What changes need to occur for this to occur?
9. Who will be affected by these changes?
10. What can we realistically achieve?