Monday, November 01, 2010

What I would Do Differently

I have done youth ministry for 13 years as an ordained minister and several years as a volunteer youth worker prior to that. Along the way, I have learned from the School of Hard Knocks. In that school, I had to learn from my own mistakes. As I look back at the years I spent as a naive youth worker, I think I would have changed a few things. If I was entering youth ministry today, in the 21st Century, here are some things I would do different that I learned from the School of Hard Knocks.

1. I would definitely pray more. Spend more time in prayer.

2. Delegate more. The better you can inspire and administer things, the better balance to your own life.

3. Have better resources. Purpose Driven Youth Ministry, DYM, and My First Two Years in Youth Ministry weren't written yet. I wish someone told me these things long ago.

4. Take care of my own soul. So often I so busy trying to save the world, I forget to feed myself.

5. Take more retreats. With my family, youth and students. There is nothing like NWYC, CIY, Marriage conventions.

6. Choose wisely. I think some of the ministries I took job at; I didn't choose wisely.

7. Leadership is everything. Be a leader. Influence other and make sure your leaders are behind you.

8. Make the most of every moment. Today, for example, I hung out with a youth intern at another church to build a relationship and encourage him. Another example of that would be involving more parents more often.

9. Know your strengths and weaknesses. I think knowing thyself is a good thing. Personality tests, and such come in handy.

10. Loving God and loving students more. I think this essential helped me stay on focus and wish I did it more.

For Discussion: What would you do differently? Do you have a story of a "famous failure" in your ministry that others could learn from?

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