The Importance of Good Planning and Execution

My good friends Mike and Jenn celebrated their three-year wedding anniversary earlier this month. Their wedding and wedding day will always be important to me as I (along with my son Sean) was an “accomplice” in Mike’s proposal to Jenn. It was an amazing and unforgettable night, in large part because Jenn had no idea that the proposal was coming and she was caught completely off-guard.

Thankfully, she said yes…haha.

Mike had been planning the proposal for over two months. In the final week in particular we exchanged a flurry of emails, texts, and phone calls as we finalized the details. Our plan was quite elaborate and quite brilliant if I may say so myself…as was the execution. The acting on the other hand….

It got me to thinking about the importance of planning and execution in youth ministry. Now I admit that I’m the first one to say that youth ministry should be about people and not programs. We shouldn’t spend more time preparing skits and talks than hanging out with young people or praying for them.

But it’s amazing how much difference a well-planned night or event makes in the eyes of teens. When a night flows well, when the transitions are smooth, and when the leaders seem to know what’s coming up next, it adds to the overall positive experience for the participants. In general, it will keep them more engaged and hopefully wanting to come back.

Granted, different youth leaders have different gifts. Some youth leaders are more adept at “winging it” than others. But “winging it” should really be the exception and not the norm.

Thus, I encourage you to spend a proper amount of time reviewing details – big and small. Skits need to be well-rehearsed (this isn’t Whose Line is it Anyway?). Same goes for teachings and testimonies. Have youth leaders review the small group discussion questions before gathering into groups. And don’t forget about transitions between different facets. There is nothing worse than a bunch of “dead time” because you forgot to test the LCD projector or forgot to get into costume for the closing skit.

Sure, it’s going to take more time and preparation.

But the young people are worth it.

The Importance of Good Planning and Execution

Clayton Imoo

Clayton Imoo is husband to Gail and father to sons Sean Isaiah and Jacob Isaac and daughter Kayla Marie; and he has served as the Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver for the past ten years, helping parishes develop their own youth and young adult ministries.

Clay enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, playing sports, playing naptime, speaking and writing blogs on family, faith and the Vancouver Canucks at

Questions or Comments?

Join the conversation about The Importance of Good Planning and Execution over in our Facebook group. GO THERE NOW

Try Out Our New Online Membership Community for Free!

Click the button below to find out more about Thrive and claim your invite to a free trial of the new community created exclusively for Catholic youth ministers.


You have Successfully Subscribed!

Become a ProjectYM VIP

You have Successfully Subscribed!