Over the past several years a sport that has really gotten into my blood is auto racing. I’m not really sure why this is. I’m not a car lover, I’m not a mechanic, my only racing experience is on the “play land” go-carts, but I love it! As I have learned more about the sport, I understand there is so much more to it than having a fast car that can go in circles. Having the best equipment and a great driver is important, but what seems to separate the best race teams from all the others is team chemistry and communication.
Watching a race on TV I heard the commentator say, “If he (the driver) wants to go faster, he needs to slow down”. Meaning the driver needs to slow down sooner as he approaches the corner so that the car will turn better, resulting in the ability to get back to full throttle quicker enabling more speed down the straight away.
So what does this have to do with youth ministry? Often times youth workers are innovative, creative and needing to try new things – meaning change. This is good and very important. But change, even though it has the potential for a more impacting ministry, can be a real challenge to implement. Much like a race car driver needs to slow down through the corner enabling him to go faster in a different direction, so too a youth worker who is making changes needs to go about it at a slower pace, making sure he or she continues to maintain strong team chemistry and communication with key people in their church.
The result of slowing down to implement change will help ensure your students, pastor, parents and youth ministry team are behind your new ideas. Slowing down means:
- Scheduling “coffee conversations” with your pastor, elders and education committee
- Creating opportunities to listen to your students
- Connecting with parents
- Holding retreats for your youth ministry team
It is important to “plant” your ideas with these groups, giving them opportunity to discover the new idea (your idea) as if it was their own. The further out you start the process of change before it actually needs to happen the better your chances for success. These slow but intentional steps will help foster buy-in and a sense of ownership that you would not have gotten if you tried to force it (going to fast into the corner).
When the idea for change is embraced it will result in a smoother transition and quicker ministry results (speed down the straight away)!
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Racing to reach youth for Christ.