Many youth and student ministry groups use this month to kick off a new academic year with a fresh calendar of events, activities and goals. This is also a good time to evaluate your mission statement to make sure it aligns with your goals.
If your ministry doesn’t currently have a mission statement, this is a good time to consider developing one. Here are a few tips:
- Pray for wisdom and discernment: ask God to lead your team on developing a mission statement. You want this to reflect God’s plan, not your own.
- Set realistic goals: once your team knows what the vision is – for example, reaching kids for Christ and growing student programs – set realistic goals.
- Don’t embellish the details: we all want to reach the lost and do great things for God, but if your youth ministry doesn’t serve in the community, then don’t list that as part of your mission statement. If your focus is on evangelism and growing membership, then list that so it is front-and-center for everyone.
- Keep it simple: A long mission statement packed with complex words may sound great, but if no one can remember it or it’s not clear, it probably won’t help the ministry reach its full potential.
- Surprises are for birthday parties: Don’t keep the mission statement a secret. Share your mission statement with students, volunteers, employees and parents. Display your youth ministry mission statement prominently on a banner in the church so people who only attend for Sunday worship see it. Repeat it often and share it with everyone.
Imagine a Christian youth group that has a mission statement that reads something like: “At XYZ Student Ministries, we hope to reach thousands of teens for God, act like Jesus every second of the day and serve throughout the community.”
That’s a scary mission statement. It’s a vision with too much ambition and not enough focus.
A better statement would be: “At XYZ Student Ministries, we will provide fun and effective programs that promote spiritual growth, teach God’s word and encourage evangelism and service in the community.”
Here are some examples of what a mission statement might include:
- Encouraging students to develop and nurture a relationship with God
- Engaging young people with stories and activities about God
- Enabling today’s youth to be tomorrow’s world-changers for Christ
- Preaching, teaching and leading young Christians about God
- Inspiring youth to live radically for Jesus
I recently started reading Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry by Doug Fields – I bought it earlier this year when I started serving and co-leading a middle school girls bible study group. I plan to get back to it in the next few weeks and include more tips and ideas.
Have a mission statement you think is clever, smart or witty? Send it to you along with the source/credit and I will share them when I do another update.