Are there some things you are looking to change in your youth ministry? Then you’ve come to the right place, because I want to help you set the stage for the changes you want to make before the curtain goes up for the big reveal.

The spark for this episode was something Chuck Todd said, concerning a shooting and police training, “How do you train racism and bigotry out of someone’s heart? “ The answer is, you don’t.

I am not saying your leaders are racist or bigots, what I am saying is that deeply held beliefs, of any kind, cannot be changed by a training.

There are deeply held beliefs about how church/youth ministry should be done. Some might even call them strongholds. Either way, you will encounter them no matter the church you go to and in no matter the denomination you serve.

You want to see change in your youth ministry? You will, but you can manage the change to come versus letting change just happen. You can set the stage for the changes you want to see with the four P’s

Pray

It’s simple but not simplistic. We can operate out of our own experience or we can operate out of prayer and get God on the case. Pray for each student and leader you want to see change in. Pray that walls will fall, blind eyes will see and hearts will receive understanding.

Specifically, you should pray for revelation,

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, Ephesians 1:18

Pray that their eyes would be open to the possibilities of change and the rewards that comes with it.

Prepare

Preparing students and leaders for real spiritual change does not begin with sharing the latest youth ministry paradigm blueprint. Preparing is more like farming. You plow the ground, plant the seed and wait until the ground, the heart, is ready to receive what God wants to do.

Farming takes a long time. It requires patience before you can harvest it. Sio many youth workers leave their positions within three years because they did not see change happen fast enough or not at all. If you plan on staying at your position beyond three years, you must set the stage for change by preparing your youth and your team for the challenges of change.

Position

Putting people in the right position is part of setting the stage for change.

People with the right gift but the wrong heart will holds change back

People with a good attitude but with the wrong gifts holds change back.

People with he right attitude with the right gifts moves change forward.

It’s your job as the leader to help people find the right positions with the right gifts and maintain the right attitudes.

If I want to change a student’s mind about missions I take them on a missions trip locally or globally.

If I want to change a kids mind on the size and reach of God’s power I take them to youth camp.

If I want to change a leaders perspective on something, I let them see the data, talk to another person who’s done it, or give them an opportunity, like running an event to reveal the leaders who have “the stuff” and the ones who did not.

If you want lead change, put people in position to change.

Promote

If change or the revelation does not come to the some of the people on your team, take the opportunity to “promote” them to a place where they can succeed. Keeping a leader in a failing position will not lead to change and could keep that leaders from fulfilling their full potential.

This goes back to positioning them to succeed to finding out their giftedness. Promotion also means to encourage. If the revelation they have about themselves and their abilities are authentic, and the position bears that out, then I encourage them to go deeper and further in what they are doing.

Encouragement goes a long way to helping both students and leaders push through their hesitancies to see the affect they can have in there new position. Keep your eye open, watch their progress and encourage them when times get tough.

Practicing these four principles with your youth ministry is not a one time thing, it’s ongoing. Old leaders go out, new leaders come in and the only constant is change. Keep setting the stage for change and you won’t be surprised when it comes.

If I can further help you set the stage for success. Check out my coaching coaching program, Ministry Minded.

Links

You Can’t Train It Out Of Them Or Into Them

Nerding Out: Voltron: Legendary Defender

Motivation: Kids Loved Him

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