I have been reading a book by Simon Sinek called Start With Why. It is a marketing/leadership book for businesses but it really challenges the reasons why we don’t ask why and why we should be asking why more. The premise is simple: People are not attracted to what we do or how we do it, but why we do what we do. He challenges us to always begin our endeavors with Why?
For youth ministries, this means getting away from selling our long list of programs to students and getting down to telling a better story of why we created the programs in the first place.
Let me offer seven questions we should be asking about our youth ministries and ourselves:
1. Why do I do, or still do, youth ministry?
“Because I am called” or “Because I can’t do anything else” are both sad answers and do not inspire anyone. Dig deeper.
2. Why do I preach what I preach?
“It’s my job” is lame and keeps you from changing the way you lead your group. Dig deeper
3. Why do I have daily devotions and prayer?
Is it because you feel guilty or you think God may punish you if you do not? Reflect not on the what or how long, but the discipline itself. Healthy youth ministry begins with healthy leaders.
4. Why do we meet?
If you can answer this question, programming will be a breze.
5. Why do we have small groups?
By asking why, we eliminate false answers such as “Because everyone else has them”
6. Why do we have outreaches?
Is it about the numbers? Go deeper and you’l find a better reason to reach our to your community.
7. Why do I do or should I do family ministry?
We do not ask this questions often enough because many ministries do not do this well, so we don’t ask.
Asking why makes us uncomfortable and it should. It reveals how little foundation we have for doing what we do. Asking why makes us unhappy in the short term but if we ask and reflect on it, it could lead us to reformulating what we do.
We cannot coast along in youth ministry with out asking why. If we’ll start with why we may just avoid the disappointing question, “What happened?”
Which of these questions challenge you most?
Is there a why question you have been pondering? Tell us what part of youth ministry we should being asking why about.