Archive for May 27th, 2008

Prepare…

Prepare as if their lives depended on it.  

That is how we all need to prepare for Impact (or whatever student ministry you may lead) each week.  The more we prepare the more free we can be when the students arrive.  Each of us as leaders have the responsibility to have our “stuff together”.  We owe it to the students that we minister to each week.  Preparedness gives us the ability to be full present in our times with them without running around trying to get things done.

I have lived out the hectic, frantic paced life of being unprepared.  I have run into the building 5 minutes before the students would arrive only to see all that needed to be done.  I have found too many times, things not done that needed to be done, and suffered the shortcomings of a lack of planning.  I have also seen the aftermath of a lack of preparation.  I have seen the students that felt ignored because we appeared so busy that we could not spend time with them.

One thing that I have found to be of great benefit to the student ministry that I lead is to be ultra-prepared.  I’m not just talking about the amount of time that I spend in study for what I will talk about on any given evening.  I am referring to the preparation time for the whole event.  Is music playing, is that planned?  Are activities planned, do we have the equipment ready?  Are the lyrics for any songs to be sung loaded up and ready to be projected?  Has the worship team practiced?  Do they know what the plans are for the evening and when they are expected to lead?  What are the events that we are announcing?  Does our announcer have the list of events with all the info?  Do our small group leaders have outlines to use for the discussion?  Are the rooms clean and ready for students?  Do we have snacks?  Pizza? (it’s a student event – you HAVE to have pizza!)  Is it being delivered or picked up?  Did someone order it?

Student Ministry, probably ministry overall, takes lots of planning and preparation to make it happen well.  Many students walk through our doors every week – some for the very first time.  The impression that they get when they walk through the doors and are greeted by someone who appears to care for them is so important.  If we don’t make a good first impression they may never come back.  For that matter, they may not stick around for the full evening – in which case it won’t mater how much time I spent in sermon prep.  If they don’t feel welcome when they first walk in, they may shut down and won’t be able to receive anything that the Lord wants to do in them that night.

How do you prepare?  Are you prepared?  Student Ministry will live or die because of preparation.  So please, prepare as if their lives depend on it – because more times than not, it does.

In Houston

I’m in Houston for the Foursquare Convention.  This has been a great time so far.  It’s great to catch up with friends from all over the country and meet new ones as well.  Sat in a great workshop today with James Craft and Chad Veach.  The workshop title was “Strong in Spirit, Strong in Relationship”.  It was great, as it reinforced my own philosophy of youth ministry.  It also started me thinking more on how I communicate vision and the “why” of what we do at Impact.  More on that later…