Excuses are assassins. They are sneaky, well trained, well armed assailants whose sole job is to kill your hopes and dreams. Now, what are you going to do about it?
Let me be clear, these are excuses you make, not your students and not their parents. These are excuses you use and try to convince others that the narrative you’re telling is the truth.. The reality is, it’s YOUR excuses that could be killing the youth ministry you serve.
I have made my fair share of excuses and eaten it’s fruit. I have blamed people, shirked responsibilities, took the lazy road, and 100 more like them and have killed my dreams one by one. I remember going on a tare, concerning my own excuses, about not getting up and exercising every day on both my Instagram and on Facebook Live, addressing my excuses, their nature, and my vehement hatred of them and why I vowed to kill every, last, one.
I want to challenge you, push you, to see excuses as dangerous thugs that ought not be played with.
Every excuse has a price tag and when it comes to spiritual matters, excuses make the difference between a healthy and unhealthy ministry.
So, let’s get on it.
The 10 Excuses Trying To Kill Your Youth Ministry
Killer #1 Apathy
“No one cares”/
“it won’t matter anyway”
“no one will come“
I hear you. It’s tough, but someone has to care. Pick something you don’t like to do such as calling a kid that hasn’t been to your meeting in a while or plan an outreach; what excuses stop you from doing either of these two things?
Apathy is an excuse incubator and it must be destroyed. You have no idea what your phone call can mean to someone or who might show up to the outreach you plan or the small group you start.
I know you’ve been burned by big dreams and low results, but what’s the alternative? Giving up? Giving up is a virus our kids can catch from us. You must show them how to plan well, persevere, pray though when it’s tough, and know when to punt when you fall short.
If you put your events, plans, and most importantly, your hearts, into Gods hands you can live with the results but, if you don’t act at all, you have to ask yourself, “Can I live with my excuses?”.
In the end, no one will care more about this ministry than you; not because you’re paid to care but because this youth group has your name on it, it’s yours. Care about it and other will, eventually, care with you.
How do you kill the sprit of apathy?
Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, with takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.
– Arnold J. Toynbee
Weapon of Choice: Kill it with value
Everything you plan in youth ministry may not be of value to every kid but every kid in our youth ministry IS valuable.
Value your kids input: Consider doing a youth ministry audit/survey and see what your kids think (See 9 Questions You Must Ask Your Students)
Value your kids ideas: Don’t plan anything by yourself. Get kids and other adults to pitch in and they will get excited about serving and not just attending.
Value the victories (no matter how small) : Look at past victories and know that you are making a difference. (See Defining The Wins In Youth Ministry)
Value the fear of a big idea: The big ideas you have should scare you a little. In fact, if the idea doesn’t scare you a little, it might not bebop enough for God to get involved and that should scare us a lot. Big ideas draw people to your side and God is right there with you.
Value enthusiasm: If you’re not stoked about the event, the meeting or the small group, neither will your students. You have to be the prime mover when it comes to excitement. Enthusiasm, like apathy, can go viral.
Apathy can sneak up on you like a thief in the night, stealing your joy and your passion. You have to care, because if you don’t care for your youth ministry, who will?