By Jeff Brodie
In student ministry, some times it can be harder to know when we’re winning or figuring out what the wins are…
….But defining the win is an essential tool in measuring progress, motivating volunteers and evaluating strategy. For this reason, it’s important to define the win for all areas of ministry. From those who set up the environments, lead worship, and clean the floors, to those who greet families and care for kids, the win needs to be clear and aligned with the strategy.
Family Ministry wins bring clarity to parents and volunteers across each environment.
For example, creating a culture where students grow up recognizing the spiritual benefits of a small group, providing every parent with a tool they’re using to create a spiritual rhythm at home, or having every family realize what it means to increase their quantity of quality time; all are ways to use defined wins to align your strategy and create ministry-wide momentum.
Obviously different stages of child development mean different wins in the way of faith development and spiritual growth. As students move from thinking concretely to abstractly, from individually to socially, from childhood to the student years, the wins need to intersect with their life stage.
For example, in our preschool environments we believe that nothing is more important than for children to learn three basic or key truths before they leave our environments: God made me; God loves me; and Jesus wants to be my friend forever. We win by helping parents and small group leaders share these truths with their children through music, stories, activities and play. So often parents and volunteers are overwhelmed with what to teach their little ones. These “teachable wins” keep the desired picture clear for all of those invested in the life of a child.
In our elementary environments, we consider it a win when we create an environment where kids learn to trust God, make wise choices and build friendships that last. Through stories shared by their small group leaders and parents, we celebrate when we hear stories about making wise choices, choosing friends who are running in the same direction, and trusting God even when the going gets tough.
In our student environments the small group becomes even more of a centerpiece. When it comes to helping students grow spiritually we’re looking for four things: to create a small group of peers running in the same spiritual direction; a leader in their life saying the same thing a Christ-following parent would say; the creation of shared moments and common memories that build relationships; and the opportunity for each student to experience God through serving others in our church and local and global communities.
What are some of the wins in your student ministry?
Jeff is currently the Executive Director at Connexus Community Church, a multi-campus church north of Toronto, and a strategic partner of North Point Ministries. He has been working with families and students for over a decade and is passionate about family and church coming together to reach this generation.
Jeff invests his time in developing teams of leaders, discovering innovative and practical ways to partner with parents, and finding ways to inspire communities with timeless truths. Jeff and his wife Leslie have two young boys who love NFL football, soccer, mini-stick hockey, and bedtime stories.
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