It Starts With Me (You)

I made my way into Caribou Coffee yesterday on a snowy, blustery morning.

When I arrived, I saw three dads I know older than myself (not much older, but older) meeting together. They were talking about life and studying the bible. When they were done, they finished up by praying for one another.

I thought about their families: They all have beautiful and devoted families. All of their kids are leaders within our youth ministries. They each have older sons who are becoming men. And it struck me: When it comes to life, leadership, ministry, or family, it starts with you.

We all possess dreams of leading growing ministries.
We all possess dreams of leading healthy and devoted families.
We all possess dreams of being world changers or life givers to those around us.

Sometimes we think the answer is found in a new strategy or concept, or a new practice or discipline.

While some of the answers may be found there, I can promise it always starts with you. It starts with me.

Sure, there will be days, weeks, and years where our ministries, families, and lives around us will go haywire EVEN when we are modeling the right way. But if we want the kind of families, ministries, or lives to be the ones that best reflect God’s plan of redemption and beauty, it will always start with us.

Just like the dads who are climbing out of bed in the early, snowy mornings to model something for their families, I want to be the kind of man who models and lives it first.

What can you do today to START WITH YOU?

Can you win in ministry? (Part 3)

Can you win in ministry?

Well, yes, but only if you define what it means to win. And yes, only if you understand that “winning” doesn’t necessarily mean achieving the stated goals. In my mind, winning is about striving after (not achieving) the God-given goals and objectives for your ministry. Achieving becomes more of a me-focused approached to ministry; striving is more about the ways we work diligently towards the goals God has control over accomplishing or not.

With that being said, if you missed part 1 or part 2 of this series, check it out.

In this post, I promised I would lay out some of the ways we help our volunteers define what it means to win on any given program night.

We firmly believe and have heard from several volunteers that sometimes they feel like they aren’t making a difference or actually doing anything. They feel like they spin in circles sometimes with no traction. While we assure them this is typically what it feels like to be in student ministry, we also want to make sure we don’t use this as an excuse to not give them a win to strive after.

So, led by our amazing student ministries staff team, we developed several win statements for each volunteer position. In other words, no matter what role a volunteer serves in, they can look at this win and ask themselves: Did they do this one sentence win each night? If they answer yes, they can feel “successful.” If they can’t answer yes, then we want them to re-evaluate what they were doing and why they were doing it.

Here are a few examples of volunteer win statements:

Small Group Leader: Connects relationally with a small group of students to create an environment of spiritual growth through the pursuit of the 5 Essentials.

Check-In Leader: Create an amazing student experience by engaging with students through the check in process so they feel welcome and known.

Security Team Member: Create a safe and welcoming environment by helping students get involved with the activities and ensuring there are no major distractions.

Set up/Take Down Team Member: Create a unique and engaging environment for students by setting up and taking down key elements within the building.

These are just a few examples of ways we try to encourage volunteers to self-assess each night and feel like they are winning.

Can you win in ministry? Maybe the more important question is: Have you defined what a win is and have you given people a way to win on a daily and nightly basis within your ministries?