Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. – Proverbs 19:21
Fall is here. Are you ready for it?
Every year, I spend the summer planning and praying for the next year. It’s a needed time of rest. I spend a few weeks with the family. My kids really need their dad back during this time of year. I stop hearing the statement from my kids, “are you going to work”, every time I head near the door.
Getting ready for the fall is similar to how football teams prepare for the next season. They are planning, looking over old tape, recruiting new players or trading for them. Youth ministry is like that. If we don’t have an idea of where we are going this year, how are we going to know if we are doing well or not?
I am a firm believer in a plan. If you work with me, you know that every plan is penciled in because you don’t know what God will do in the midst of a year. It helps our leaders, parents, and students know the direction that we will be heading this year.
Here are 5 ways to get ready for the fall:
Have a plan. What are you going to do in November? December? What about next February? You need to have every week laid out. I like to have every series, every game, every student leadership meeting, missions trip, all planned out before the fall starts.
What are you going to do in November? December? What about next February? You need to have every week laid out. I like to have every series, every game, every student leadership meeting, missions trip, all planned out before the fall starts.
Get a calendar.
Do you have a calendar to hand out to parents? One of the most strategic things I have done in the past 10 years is hand out a calendar before the fall starts. I have a few options for calendars in our store. Parents and students take the calendar home and put it up on the fridge.
Giving out a calendar in the fall with events gives parents an idea of what to plan for. It allows them time to make a plan and figure out how to add one more thing to the calendar. If it’s out early enough, you will make it into the families calendar.
Put everything on the church calendar.
Of all these things, I am the worst at this. I need to remind myself constantly what should I be communicating to others on my staff team about what is happening in my ministry. We can never over communicate what is happening. When things are on the proper calendar, you won’t get things doubled booked.
Every night you meet up, every event, every special training thing you do, needs to be on the church calendar. Everything!
Know the essential things you need to do.
Greg McKeown states, “Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.” What are the things you needed to be doing, and what shouldn’t you be doing. Early on in my ministry career, I said “yes” to a lot of different things. I said “yes” to building the church website, and eventually became the person to updated it. I said “yes” to video announcements, and was in charge of filming, and editing each week. I said “yes” to a ton of other things. They were all great things, but it wasn’t essential to my job.
Look at this year and ask yourself, What are the 3 things I should do? Focus on those things.
It’s pretty simple. But, you need a plan. If I don’t have a plan, every little thing in the church will fall on to your lap.
Know what is the most essential for you to do this year, and do that. Stop focusing on all the extra stuff. Do the essential.
Train someone to replace yourself.
Who are you passing the torch on to? What happens if you left next year? What if this was the last year for you in that ministry?
We should all be training up someone to replace ourselves. This really is discipleship. It means spending hours passing on information, and application to someone who is younger than you, and might eventually do things better than you.
There are 5 ways to get ready for the fall. Have a plan this year, put that plan on a piece of paper. Make sure that the plan is communicated well within the church. Know the essential things that you should be doing, and do those things over and over again. Train someone up who could replace you. This doesn’t mean they will, it just means that you actually know what you are doing enough that you can pass it on to someone else.