(Over the next few months, maybe longer, I will be writing weekly posts on my journey of starting a new youth ministry position. The focus will be on general tips and suggestions for any youth minister starting a new position, but I will add-in moments specific to my situation. My goal is to offer advice to help other youth ministers and not write an online journal of my own personal experiences. In order to make this series of articles as beneficial as I can, I would appreciate your feedback and thoughts. And remember as you read about my journey in a new youth ministry that every situation is different; therefore, these ideas are just ideas and suggestions. You need to know your church culture and adjust your week-by-week to fit those needs.)
This week was more about little things than anything else.
I intentionally tried to make a few small changes in my my week. Over the past few weeks I have spent a lot of my time in the office rearranging and organizing. While I was unpacking and organizing, I was fitting in the necessary ministry work whenever I had a chance. It meant working on the lesson after a box was unpacked or whenever there was room on my desk. But starting this week, I tried to move from this less scheduled (possibly unscheduled) work week to a more structured one.
While I was trying to maintain a semblance of office hours and such, the framework during my work week was pretty loose. I wanted to take this week and start moving toward the more structured layout of planned and allotted time for ministry work. In my last ministry I found a good breakdown of when to accomplish certain tasks, and now I need to start doing that here. Because I know I have changed and the environment is different, I am intentionally going to try a few different “schedules” within my work day.
I know ministry does not solely happen inside the walls of my office, I added a few chances to hang out with some students to my week. I was not sure how they would respond or if they would make it – since it is prime vacation time and fall sports are starting practices. I offered two different times to get together for lunch during the week. During each lunch we had a great chance to talk and get to know the students and let them get to know my family a little bit. I want to continue lunches or dinners throughout the year as an informal way to build relationships with the students and their friends.
Being in my first month of ministry, I know there are certain changes that need to wait. One of the changes I want to implement is going to have to wait at least a few months, if not a year. But I started working on developing and putting onto paper an explanation and game-plan for this change. I know it will take a little time to process and implement, but I want to be ready when the right time arises.
Sunday was a crazy day for me. I had a lot of little conversations with people – all good. I think out of the two services and Sunday School, I was only on-time for 1st service. But I am not complaining, I loved the chance to talk and listen to people.
Week 3 Bulletpoints:
– continue talking with students & parents
– spend more time getting to know the youth coaches
– start figuring out how to structure your work day
Goals of the near future:
– improve the ministry with a small/simple change
– learn the passion/heart of the youth coaches
– encourage youth coaches
– learn more names