“Without a vision the people lose restraint, but happy is the one who follows instruction.” (Proverbs 29:18)
It has come to the end of another youth ministry year and summer trips, socials, and special events are right around the corner. Your schedule is packed. Yet, the annual calendar planning meetings and budget meetings for the next year are also coming up soon. How do you, as the youth minister, make the process of planning for the next youth ministry year go smoothly? What can you do to ensure that the plan for the next youth ministry year gets off to a great start? Here are three steps to get you going in the right direction…
Articulate a clear vision
Write down five new things you want to accomplish for the youth ministry in the next catechetical year. Is it to have Penances Services for the teens in Advent and Lent? Is it to have an amazing welcome celebration for the freshmen? Do you want to have a night of Adoration with Praise and Worship for the Confirmation candidates and their sponsors? Writing them down ensures they will become part of the proposed calendar for the new year along with the weekly youth ministry events and retreats.
Remember you are not the Lone Ranger
Get input, particularly from your supervisor and the pastor. Is there a special event that they would like to see the teens involved with, such as the parish festival? Does your pastor want to attend the youth conference with the teens and need a hotel room in advance? Speak to them and update them during the planning process. This way they do not have any surprises coming to them at the last minute.
Stick to the plan, yet be flexible.
Sticking to the plan and calendar for the new year is important, as much as possible. This way everyone knows what is happening and when it is on the schedule for the year. It ensures everyone from the pastor to the core team is on the same page with everything happening in youth ministry. Yet, flexibility is important, as well, because things can happen to alter the schedule. For instance, something may come up with a speaker for the event and they can’t make it at the last minute. This is where backup plans are necessary and communication is imperative.
Taking the time to articulate a clear vision and plan is worth it in youth ministry. Getting instruction and input from others is invaluable, as well. Following God’s wisdom in Proverbs 29:18 is a great way to ensure you have a great plan for the upcoming youth ministry year!