I get an eye tick when I think about all the vision casting, missions statement writing, and five point purpose driven word gymnastics I’ve gone through over the years. When I came to my newest ministry five years ago I tried to change the name/mission of the youth ministry but no one could come up with any thing new so I left it. Guess what, the world did not fall apart and the branding god’s did not strike me dead.
I used to think all youth ministry’s needed was a mission statement to better identify themselves to those outside the church or solidify their own purpose but come to find out they all don’t need that and, to be honest, it was kind of liberating. Do some youth ministry’s need a mission statement? Sure, based on location, demographics, size of church, etc. a youth group may need a statement to clarify and differentiate who they are within their culture, but it doesn’t need to be complicated.
So, if your youth ministry does need to develop a mission statement for your youth ministry let me offer a few tips:
Start With Scripture
We can’t depart from The Churches mission as scripture defines it. We can’t make up anything new because there isn’t anything new . It’s already been established in God’s word. The question is which aspect of the mission is your youth ministry best equipped to major in. Here are a few examples of scriptural missions
I have come that you might have life and life more abundantly John 10:10
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, Luke 4:18
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. I John 4:7, 8
You are the light of the world Matthew 5:14
You can do all of them, you just can’t focus on all of them. Choose one and do that for a month, semester or year.
Follow Your Church
I don’t think a youth ministry can stray too far from the rest of the body when it comes to mission. If your church’s mission is evangelism and the youth’s is discipleship (or vice verses) you may be setting yourself up for conflict. The question you have to ask is, “How can I Youth-enize the churches mission statement so our kids understand it, identify with it, and feel like they can collaborate with the church to accomplish their part of the church’s mission.”
Plan To Live Out Your Mission
A mission has to be measurable and motivating. If you can’t measure whether you are accomplishing your mission, t’s possible your mission is too vague. Ask yourself?
How will I measure, both individually and corporately, whether we are accomplishing our mission?
How will I fill my calendar to fulfill our mission? Which events help us and which hurt us in accomplishing the mission we have taken on?
How will I keep us accountable to our mission? Who can I check with to make sure we are on track?
Missions are long term.
Missions outlive us if they are any kind of God-sized mission.
God is empowering us to accomplish His mission.
Do you think a youth ministry needs a
What is the mission of your youth ministry?
Do you feel like you are accomplishing it? Why or why not?
What do you have to change structurally or personally to get your youth ministry on mission?