This is the last post in my series on my secrets to a successful youth ministry, but it is one of the most critical for me. I am a driven individual. It’s hard for me to relax and I am my harshest critic. Over the years I’ve had to make myself slow down and enjoy the “wins” of youth ministry .
What is a win? There are two kinds of wins, individual wins and group wins. Here’s how I define an individual win.
- The kid who accepts Christ, even if he/she comes to the altar a hundred times.
- The kid who takes a small step in the direction of being a follower of Jesus.
- The kid who steps and serves when they haven’t before.
- Students who are excelling in other areas of life such as getting the lead in play or becoming athlete of the week.
This list is a combination of wins inside the youth ministry and outside. Some of these are personal achievements outside the group and some inside but we should celebrate both because if a student of faith is achieving something outside our group, that means another aspect of their life in Christ is being celebrated to.
With social media it’s super easy to celebrate the win whether it’s a picture on Instagram, a post on Facebook, or a tweet # awesome. Each recognition I give tells a kid # I celebrate you an #2 The Church celebrates you through me.
Them there are the group win. Group wins could include
- achieving a certain number in mid-week meeting
- raising a certain amount of money for a service mission
- pulling off a dinner theatre
If our kids are going for it and “making it happen” I want them to know I appreciate their effort and do not take them for granted. Celebration mean appreciation.
One of my favorite ideas for celebrating kids was in creating a formal award dinner/ceremony, complete with hosts, musical guests, an envelope to tear open, and of course awards. The trophy was called The One Man. It symbolized that one person could make a difference. I kept track of some of our kids exploits and let our leaders vote on various categories.
Kids were genuinely surprised and thrilled to get an award, custom made to boot from one of our fine wood-smiths Ken Breland who has since received his heavenly reward. At the bottom of the trophy it says OSM(one Student Ministries), I Stepped Up. Even though I tell my kids about heavenly rewards, I wanted to make sure they knew their actions mattered to not only God, but me and their community of faith.
If you want to build a successful ministry to youth, find a way to celebrate your students individually and corporately. Go overboard or go simple, but go and celebrate your kids.
How do you celebrate when a kid in your group steps up?
How do you celebrate when your group achieves a group goal?
If you want read about all 7 Secrets you can start from the beginning by clicking HERE
If your youth ministry needs reviving, check out my series on the 9 Dynamic Ways To Revive A Dying Youth Ministry