Saturday, March 21, 2009

Back from the Youth Ministry conference

Welcome back from the Youth Ministry conference. You're undoubtedly psyched up with great new ideas, energy, and direction for your youth ministry. This is great.

Here is an analogy of what might happen when you put these new ideas into practice: If you've ever gone cross-country skiing on a prepared track you know it's easy to glide along the ruts the snow machine has prepared for you. Occasionally you come to a trail intersection where the snow machine lifts it's rut-maker. This is a scary spot because as you know cross-country skies don't have the steel edges and awesome bindings of down hill skies. You need to be really cautious about your stance and balance and the moves you make or there's a painful landing in store.

Coming home from a conference is a lot like cross-country skiing. You could just fall back into the ruts you've been in, complain about the long hours and low pay, or you could take the risk of leaving the ruts and taking a new direction. I encourage you to take the risk but be cautious.

One first impulse is to drop everything you've been doing in favor of the new ideas gleaned from the conference. This, however, can cause mass chaos and result in a nasty fall. It's better to choose one or two new ideas you've picked up at the conference and implement them slowly into your ministry. Stop doing one or two things that have not shown results.

There will be a time of uncertainty as you pick the new trail but soon you'll be gliding along safely in the familiar ruts....wait, wait, wait. Familiar ruts? Oops. Better build in a check point a couple of months out with specific goals as bench marks of the new trail to make sure you haven't just fallen into the old ruts. Post the new plan on your office bulletin board to check against (like a trail map) at a glance to see if you're still taking the new direction.

Good luck to you all. Let me know how your new ideas work out so I can pass them on to others.