In our youth ministry, people trump program.
We have rules. But it’s more important the way we correct students than if they actually follow the rules.
We have worship. But it’s more important if students see other adults worshipping rather than worshipping themselves.
We have teaching. But it’s more imporant if students develop relationships with adult leaders rather than if they understand or remember the teaching.
We have small groups. But it’s more important if students build relationships with each other and with their leaders than if they understand the curriculum.
We have check-in, hang time, cafe, and parking. But it’s more important if students see a smiling leader who knows their name rather than if they get checked-in correctly.
We have volunteers who serve in a certain organizational structure. But it’s more important if they feel empowered, loved, and cared for rather than if they are “correctly” doing their “jobs.”
Last night, at our leader meeting, I tried to get leaders to understand that 100 times out of a 100, PEOPLE trump PROGRAM.
Now, the program stuff is important, don’t get me wrong. And, in fact, my title is Junior High TEACHING Pastor and PROGRAM Developer. My job is to create the program.
However, the people — the students, the volunteers, the relationships — always trump the program.