We believe that every youth minister needs to have a clear picture of what the world looks like when your ministry is headed towards success. Week to-week-wins are good, but moving a youth ministry down the roadmap to success (and ultimately, succession) is the big picture.
To make your creative “porch/balcony” time as a youth minister as valuable, productive, and awesome as possible, we want to talk about goals.
Here are a few tricks of the goal setting trade that we’ve used to move faster and with greater clarity to define success for ourselves, our projects, and brands.
Write down your goals in the present first person plural.
For example, rather than “I want to fill my Wednesday night space,” try “We should work towards a vibrant small group culture of meeting together each midweek”.
It’s subtle but an important shift. You’re training your brain to picture the plural “you” (staff, volunteers, and student leaders) working together. It isn’t a big goal if you can make all the accomplishments and adjustments yourself. Using the present tense works to help visualize the work of the team. Words matter. They matter to you and your team.
Define the results you believe to really matter (and are willing to work for).
Pray for wisdom, imagine, and think bigger! That’s the point of this exercise.
Make your goals clear and specific. Goals are designed to train your brain to visualize the end result you want to achieve. The more specific you are, the higher the likelihood is that you will define things you can accomplish.
Make your goals measurable.
Rather than “I want more students” think more like, “I want to grow my middle school ministry retention into high school by 30%,” or “We want to reach 8% of all the high school students in our town.
Seek a believable and reasonable probability of success. For your goal to be effective, it has to be doable. Even a 50/50 shot is cool. Anything less than that, and it may have the opposite effect. This is where numbers aren’t the whole story but are indeed helpful in measuring our hopes.
Ensure they are consistent with your other goals. Think about it this way: relaxing on the beach and tripling your income cancel each other out. Make sure your goals are consistent with each other and you’re able to picture one future that works together.
LifeWay’s Youth Ministry Booster is a fantastic resource for goal-setting and working smarter, not harder, through clear intentions and well-defined strategies.
We invite you to download this free 2020 goal-setting worksheet. It’s not too late to dream up measurable goals for the coming year!
This post was written by Zac Workun. Zac serves as the Student Ministry Training Specialist for LifeWay and is one of the co-founders of Youth Ministry Booster, Lifeway Students’ collaboration and training network. He has served the local church in various youth ministry roles for over 15 years.