Planning Why Bother?

Planning Why Bother?
Nathaniel Dame

“I tried making an annual plan for my youth group, once…”

So what’s the big deal about planning? Things never quite happen like you expect, so maybe it doesn’t seem worth the effort. And life + youth group is already crazy—why add one more thing to the to-do list?

A truly effective plan for youth ministry doesn’t just take up time. It helps you save time and make the most out of the limited time that you do have. In fact, effective planning should be front and center in every youth ministry.

1000’s of Ideas

Right now you can run into any Christian bookstore, lay down $20, and walk away with hundreds, if not thousands, of youth ministry ideas in your hands. Is that a good thing? In the end, it might not be. We all love sifting through ideas and looking for the good stuff—it’s important to always learn and try new things. But what happens when we’re driven by ideas more than vision? It’s easy to let happen. Instead of running after that God-inspired vision for ministry, uniquely fit to the church and community we minister in to reach and disciple students, we’re just scrambling for something to do this week.

Ideas are helpful, but we need to be driven by vision. And that takes planning.

Jesus lived purposefully, on purpose, while constantly staying connected with the Father. He knew where he was headed, and he was constantly praying and listening to the Father for direction for the future. To make the most of our short time on earth, we should be planners, too. That doesn’t mean we need to figure out our 30-year goal, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Plans change as we learn, adapt, and grow, but pro-active planning keeps us focused and at the top of our game. Leading purposefully is the only way we can make the most of the unique opportunities we have as youth pastors. And the “hard work” of planning always pays off.

Nathaniel Dame is the president and founder of Called to Youth Ministry, and he leads a new online training opportunity for youth pastors titled Creating a Movement of Student Discipleship

This article “Planning Why Bother Youth” by Nathaniel Dame was excerpted from: web site. August 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”