I'm starting a brand new ministry next week as I move down to Virginia and I have spent a lot of time shooting emails back and forth between the current youth leader (volunteer who will stay on after I come on staff) and teens as well as parents.
I have decided that if I am ever going to lead an effective student ministry, I need to express my ideas and vision for ministry with everyone so I have come up with three steps in order to do this
1. Meet with the Adult/Student Leadership Team - These people have been in ministry at this location for longer than I have and they know what has worked and what hasn't. Because of my age (22) I will present my plan and vision first and then ask for their idea so that they can see that I possess the ideas and direction needed to lead this ministry but their input and ideas will greatly effect the way we do ministry together. I have not done a great job at communicating my vision and purpose with a leadership team of adults and students at my current church and that is something that needs to be done; if nobody knows my vision, we'll never reach our destination.
2. Meet with Parents - These are the people that I am prone to distance myself from because I may be insecure about my age and experience but they are going to be my greatest resource in ministry. Parents spend each and every day with their teenagers; I will only see each teen at the most, 2-3 times a week and that is not enough time for me to reach them unless I am working alongside parents. After going to the leadership team, we will address the parents with a unified vision and purpose for ministry, along with a plan to get us there. This will show parents that
(a) We care about their teenagers
(b) We care about their family
(c) We value their input
(d) We have a God-given plan for ministry
3. Meet with Students - I'm planning on taking 1-2 students out each week to get to know them and so that they can get to know me. I am a single guy in my 20's and even though I'll be married in September, there still exists the potential for problems when it comes to girls so I am adopting a rule that I have held at my current church - NEVER BE ALONE WITH A GIRL....EVER! If I need to meet 1-on-1 with a female student, I'll make sure that we are in an area that is easily seen by anyone and someone else will be around who knows what is going on. I'll probably talk more on this later on but I wanted to make sure that I clarified that I won't take a female student out alone.
I am brand new to full-time paid ministry and I expect that there will be several roadblocks that will come up but I am optimistic that God will provide leadership and guidance and He will work in and through me and the entire ministry.