The fall is almost here.
At Eagle Brook Church, we significantly slow down student ministries in the summer (for instance, we don’t do regular weekly programming).
Therefore, the summer gives our team a chance to reflect, research, prepare, plan, and generate initiatives for the upcoming year. Fortunately, we work at a church that is purposeful and intentioned with plans, goals, and strategies.
As we reach the end of the summer, I want to share with you our three Junior High initiatives for the upcoming year. These are the THREE things we will focus more intently on this year.
First, we have a Vision Culture at Eagle Brook that permeates all ministries. Without going into too much detail, our mission is to reach people for Christ. This is unchanging at EBC and must be fully implemented at all ministries. What this means for our junior high ministry is that we will always focus on those outside of faith (the unreached, but still maybe inside our walls) MORE than those inside faith (the reached). We want to do whatever it takes to reach people for Christ. This will always be our primary focus. Meanwhile, we do this by remembering our purpose: “To bring people into relationship with God and with each other” and our values: “Grace, Growth, Groups, Gifts, and Generosity.” This is all undergirded by our beliefs in God, Jesus, the Bible, and people.
It’s the strategies and goals that are constantly shifting and changing.
For this year in our junior high ministry, we defined our “win” statement as: “Leading Jr. High students to an identity rooted in Jesus Christ through relationships and environments.” We created this win statement because one of the things we notice about Jr. High students is how frequently they mask and live out multiple identities. Furthermore, we believe we can best help them root their identities in Christ through relationships and environments.
Because this is our win, these are the three initiatives we are going to focus on for 2011-12.
1. Connect students to students/adults and students to groups.
Relationships and connectivity have always been a primary focus of our junior high ministry, but this year, we are going to go all out for this. We’re going to do this by focusing leadership, strategies and people on NEW and UNCONNECTED students.
We’ll do this through:
* Our new student/new parent leaders
* Our student serve team
* Connect groups (for first time visitors)
* Our student pastors reaching out to those who are unconnected during the week
* Casting vision to ALL of our adult leaders
2. Increasing number and growth of leaders.
Again, this has always been a focus of our ministry, but we can’t lose sight of how important this is. If we’re going to connect students into relationships, we need exceptional adult leaders (and lots of them).
This year, we’ll do this through:
* Continuing our meal and meeting prior to Ground Zero
* A fully paid-for leader retreat
* Small Group Health Indicator tools
* Intentional recruitment for our “PLAYBOOK” events — the big event we do 1 time per quarter.
* Be Involved weekends at EBC
3. Maximize and Improve Environments
Why do I go to Caribou? Because I love the environment. Same with youth ministries. Are the environments fun, exciting, and relevant? Are they engaging? Are they safe and comfortable? Are there multiple types of environments for students to connect?
We made a run to IKEA last week to simply buy things to improve our environments. Our environment is an important front door of our ministry. How does GZ look, feel, smell?
Although I didn’t include it in this post, we have come up with VERY specific ways to measure these initiatives. Because if we can’t measure them, we can’t tell if we’re succeeding.
At the end of the day, what matters beyond OUR initiatives?
The work and power of God. We are praying that these ditches we are digging (thanks Steven Furtick!) will be filled by the power of the Holy Spirit and the movement of God. He alone transforms and changes lives. We are praying for a monstrous, God-sized revival this year.
What are your initiatives for this year?!