A Welcome Fall for Change
Every fall, nature reminds us that change is beautiful.
Beyond the fact that I can wear the most wrinkled shirts ever and cover them with an appropriately sized hoodie or sweater, I really enjoy the fall season. The air is crisper, the nights are longer, and trees make the inspiring statement that shedding what worked before is wonderful.
[bctt tweet=”In order for anyone to adequately excel into their future, they must expel their past.” username=”ys_scoop”]
2 Corinthians 5:17 puts it this way, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” (NLT)
As youth leaders, it is easy to get comfortable. We find a curriculum, a style of teaching, an annual activity, or leadership style that works and we will ride it until the second coming of Jesus. I know the old adage, “If it isn’t broke don’t fix it” has a great ring to it, but at some point that bell loses its authority to call people to action.
I have found that the last quarter of the year is my best time to plan. Beyond the Christmas cantata and the Thanksgiving Serve-others project, it’s open season for football and planning.
Use this time to do a ministry assessment. How effective are the curriculums you are using? When is the last time you searched for creative technology to enhance your services? As much as your youth enjoy the occasional YouTube video and detailed PowerPoint what have you done differently? Are you still telling that same story from five years ago?
Think about the story of Abraham and Isaac. God told Abraham to take Isaac, whom he loved, and sacrifice him (Genesis 22). Just as Isaac is about to plunge the knife into his child, God provides a ram in the bush.
Imagine if Abraham had looked at that ram and said, “Not right now, I’m busy following the first plan!”
There is nothing wrong with what got you to this point. But just as the fall leaves signify change and the shedding of the past, I challenge you to accept change and prepare for the harvest season.
One random Sunday, pull five of your most consistent youth and five of your moderately consistent youth. Give them a questionnaire on the ministry. Ask them about service, the music, activities, social trends, their most memorable message, what they expect from an awesome youth service, and where do they personally want to be in the next five years. Take a fellow youth minister to lunch and exchange ideas. Lastly, and most importantly, seek God about change. He orders your steps and directs your path. Take some time to fast with the specific request of, “Uncovering areas for growth and possibility for change.”
Change is good. When the old is released the new has room to flourish.
William Cumby is the Minister of Youth for THE FOUNTAIN OF PRAISE, in southwest Houston, Texas and has served in youth ministry for over 12 years. He is a proud husband and dad to three children, graduate of the DEVOS URBAN LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE, and a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Oral Roberts University.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.