Today I completed a Youth Ministry Assessment from the Youth Ministry Architects to see how we’re doing in creating and maintaining a healthy and balanced approach to youth ministry. Here are our results.
Your church has done an outstanding job tending to the “climate” (the culture) surrounding the youth ministry. There is a foundation of joy and confidence in the ministry, a foundation that will simply make everything run more smoothly. There is no more important first step to take in building a sustainable youth ministry than tending to its climate, and Smithtown Gospel has done this well. A positive climate lubricates the ministry, allowing good decisions to be made more quickly and investment in the youth ministry (in funding, staff and volunteers) to come more easily.
Your church has done an outstanding job tending to the foundational structure of the youth ministry. You have “squared your corners” in a way that will likely save much time and energy as you move your ministry strategically forward. It is likely you have an excellent “air traffic controller” on your leadership team, someone who can manage multiple priorities well and who has the ability to empower volunteers to “own” the responsibility for carrying much of the weight of the youth ministry.
The paid staff leading your youth ministry is exceptionally positioned to lead the youth ministry well. Your church has done an outstanding job creating mechanisms for maximizing the longevity of staff and for ensuring the high levels of accountability for those staff members. Sustainable youth ministries tend to be led by youth staff who bring with them the unique benefits of experience in your particular context. As long as your staff attends to the foundational concerns outlined in this assessment, Smithtown Gospel can expect increasing and sustained momentum in its youth ministry.
The Smithtown Gospel youth ministry has done an outstanding job building its volunteer team. In a time when most churches name “difficulties associated with recruiting and volunteers” as one of their top challenges, your ministry has successfully beaten the odds and developed systems not only for recruiting but also for sustaining the volunteers serving in your ministry. This achievement did not come by accident; the youth ministry would be wise to find ways to celebrate not only the accomplishments of your volunteer team but particularly the extraordinary work of the person responsible for recruiting and equipping volunteers in your ministry.
When it comes to curriculum, we have one word for you Congratulations! Yours is one of the few youth ministries that have actually taken the time to be purposeful and deliberate about what the youth of your church will be taught. Instead of building your curriculum around the hottest new resource with the most effective marketing campaign, you have created a clear framework for you’re your young people will learn.
The Smithtown Gospel youth ministry is one that is guided by a clearly defined vision for what the church hopes to see happen in its youth ministry, and there appears to be broad-based buy in to that vision. You have given your volunteers and staff a clear sense of “where home plate is,” allowing them to all pull in the same direction together. You’ll want to make sure that you have systems in place for be an intentional annual review. The annual review provides time to revisit all your visioning documents, with a special focus on reviewing the ministry’s progress toward achieving its goals from the previous year and setting new, reasonable, and measurable goals for the future.
In summary,Smithtown Gospelhas done an outstanding job building the kind of infrastructure necessary for building a sustainable youth ministry. Though in any ministry, there is always room for improvement, this ministry has developed enough momentum from tending to foundational priorities that this church should anticipate a continued track record of highly effective ministry.