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Student ministry can sometimes feel like a string of days woven with abundant blessings and overwhelming sadness. These days come in small waves and big crashing blows.  These are the things we can’t control and all the preparation in the world will never prepare your heart. How can you prepare? Here are some things I wish I would have known so many years ago!

1.CAST VISION

You can’t cast the vision for your ministry enough.  Every conversation, every “meeting”, every intentional conversation should be guided by the vision for your ministry and your church.  You will start to notice people repeating that vision and coming alongside you to carry the vision out. Don’t know what your vision is? Sit down with your leadership and figure out what it is!

2.GET A STRATEGY

Do you know how you want to accomplish your ministry goals? Do you have a year long strategy for accomplishing goals? Do you have long term goals?  Take some time to figure out what these goals are and how you are going to accomplish them. STAY THE COURSE!!! There are so many great ideas in ministry, but how do they fit into your strategy and goals?  When others see a strategic plan and a system; they see organization and intentionality and possibly something they would like to be a part of, not just a jumbled group of events.

3.GET A TEAM

Step 1: realize it can’t be done alone.

Step 2: realize there are people wiser than you.

Step 3: realize that if you do it all alone, you won’t last very long.  Somewhere along the way in ministry we got the idea that the director/pastor had to be “the one”.  However, Our Father is the only One, but He created the rest of us to do life together. When we start to see our ministry outside ourselves we will see that the Lord has blessed us so much and such a great community.  So how do we do this?

  • Make a list of 5 people you see investing in others already.
  • Invest in them!!!  Get them on the vision and on your team!
  • Now have these 5 people replicate themselves and find others just like them!
  • Empower these leaders to lead, not just tasks, but actually let them lead.
  • Resource them up!! Books, podcasts, articles, conferences, resource them up!

When your team feels empowered and capable, they will do great things. Before you know it, you will have a group of people supporting you and doing things you thought only you could do!  

Last thought…be a good teammate.  Don’t know what that looks like or how you are doing?  Ask someone on your team what it is like to be on the other side of you…

hammocks, students, service team, ministry, summer, camp, adventure

4.SELF-CARE

Self-care is almost becoming cliche, but find out what that looks like for you.  What helps you unwind, what do you do that isn’t ministry related, what are you doing that will help you stay focused? When the big blows come, remember you have purpose, you are chosen.  The big blows will come and don’t wait until then to figure out how to care for yourself.

5.NEVER STOP LEARNING

Read, research, stay in touch with your audience and trends. Whether you agree or not, it is your job to stay current. Stay current so you can help parents, stay current so you can prepare your team well. Don’t be afraid of change, we live in a great world with so much to offer. Figure out how change can be to your advantage.

I want to close this with:

I LOVE MY JOB!

Is it perfect? NO

Are there hard things I have to do? YES

Do I love my teammates? BEYOND WORDS

Do I feel supported? YAAASSSS!!!

I hope that 10 years from now you are still loving ministry. I pray you find rest in the arms of the Lord.  I hope you have people you can invest in and people who are investing in you! 10 years goes really fast, enjoy the ride!

Tammy Roberts

Director of Next Gen Ministry
Live Oak Community Church

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