Wow, has it really already been a year since we moved to Brandywine Valley Baptist Church? As of yesterday, August 24th, I’ve officially been on staff for a year! My first day ‘on the job’ was a Sunday morning; we had just moved down here the day before, I was exhausted, stressed, wired out of my mind and all set to give my first talk here as the youth pastor!
My number one goal this last year was to learn about the church and the student ministry program. I wanted to get to know the church culture, my volunteer leaders and students. When I candidated I made a point of saying that I wouldn’t want to change much of anything the first year because I needed to exist in the program for an extended amount of time before I could even begin to think I understand the envirnonment, the culture and the unique needs and environments of this church. It was actually a good plan because more than anything else, this last year was huge for learning about the unspoken expectations and traditions – some of which are absolutely great!
This year has been fun, exciting, overwhelming, exhausting, empowering … so many words. I’m so glad we’re here – this is the church we’re called to be at! I feel like I’m rolling into this new school year with a whole new level of momentum and excitement! We’re tweaking some of the programs; in all honesty, some of the changes reflect more how I’m wired when it comes to youth ministry and we’re my mind is at. In terms of philosophy, it means we’re reworking and rewording to have a more clear purpose driven model of student ministry. Programmatically, it means we’ve rearranged the calendar a bit to reflect more of a balanced approach to the five purposes.
All that to say, I’ve got a few big goals this year …
- Improve communication with parents. A lot of this year has been spent just trying to get to know dozens of leaders, church staff, and the students. I’m hoping to connect with parents in several ways; email, letters, and parent meetings, as well as having families over for meals.
- Build into student leaders. I’m really looking forward to seeing our students empowered as leaders and given a greater role in the student ministry program and church at large.
- Utilize and empower volunteer leaders to a greater degree. This last year has been a real growing process for me, moving from smaller churches to Brandywine Valley Baptist Church – the student program alone is larger than my entire church was in Maine. A lot of the ways I did things in the smaller churches I worked at before just don’t work on a larger scale; I’m much more dependant on my volunteers than I have ever been before and this is an area I want to continue to grow in!
On with year two!