Managing youth ministry ideas

I was a youth pastor for a few years before I realized I didn’t have to do every idea I had.

Let me explain.

I have ideas. I hear ideas. I see other people implementing ideas in other youth groups. And I get excited by them, intrigued by them, and want to use them.

When I was a rookie, I tried to do them all. Every fun event, every activity, I tried to make them work. It was almost as though I thought having the idea obligated me to use it immediately.

What it mostly resulted in was an overwhelming schedule, too much work, and an unbalanced student ministry (as well as an unbalanced youth pastor!).

My shift in thinking has landed on strategy. We have a strategy and a direction. The goal is a balanced ministry and calendar. If we’re going to do something, it needs to fit and support that larger vision. So now I keep a list of ideas, things I want to try that just don’t fit … yet. Sometimes that means sitting on something for a few months, sometimes it means sitting on it longer (one thing I’ve been dying to try for almost a decade).

Besides helping to keep our program focused and directed, saving ideas instead of immediately implementing them, has also made life easier in the long run. If something changes in the calendar and we need to scramble to make a change, or we’re trying to come up with something, I can pull that list out and see what works! And sometimes, sitting on an idea gives it time to develop and mature into something even better.

2 thoughts on “Managing youth ministry ideas

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