Running a ministry succesfully requires significant time, effort, and resource. And if not many turn up? It can feel like you’ve done something wrong, or like your ministry is a failure. You been there? We’ve been there! For six months in fact. I don’t need to tell you what it’s like. We learned some valuable lessons in that time of seeming failure.
As a leader it’s important to keep your focus on the right things. People remember how you react when life (or your ministry plans) doesn’t go to plan. Or how you react when no one turns up to your youth night! (Or very few people anyway). Today I’m sharing what we learned in our season of ‘failure’, and cheering you on in yours!
It’s ok to be disappointed.
YOU know the effort you’ve put in behind the scenes towards your (awesome!) Youth event.. your teens and their parents may not. So if you’re a little disappointed, that’s ok. BUT. Don’t let your disappointment affect how you run your night, and more importantly, how you treat those that actually do turn up. Acknowledge it, but don’t stay there. Your worth as a leader isn’t dependant on who turns up- your worth is found in Christ.
Run an AMAZING night anyway.
You’ve planned an amazing night, so don’t let it go to waste! Got a message that your kids just have to hear? Trust God that the ONE kid that needs it most is there. Got a sweet new game to play? Adapt it to suit those who turned up! Don’t have a full band? Pick your favourite songs and use youtube instead. Whatever you’ve planned for the many can be just as awesome with a few. Focus on who turned up, not who didn’t.
Run an AMAZING night the next week, too!
Seriously. Quality over quantity all the way. By continually running an great quality night you’ll show your kids that you value them as individuals and not just as crowds. Keep up your amazing work, and give your youthies your best effort every. single. time. You’ll be glad you did!
Don’t focus on numbers.
I’ve said this before, so this is a gentle reminder for you.. We’re here for the ONE. Jesus showed us how important it is to go after the ONE in the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. Treasure those ones that you have; be faithful with them. Build them up, disciple them, encourage them, lead them, pray for them. Put your effort into building a community culture that your young people will thrive in! It’s more important and (more fruitful) to have a few that belong than many that don’t.
Don’t compare your ministry to others.
It’s so important not to focus what other youth ministries in your town are doing. They’ll be in their own season, have their own flavour, and attract their own crowd. Awesome! We can’t expect to appeal to everyone, so be thankful for others to carry the load. Watch out for jealousy, resentment, and bitterness, as you do not want these to creep into your ministry. By comparing yourself to others you’ll miss out on the beauty God is creating in you. You’re not a failure for doing something different.
People are watching your reactions all the time. It’s ok to be disappointed when your plans flop, but as a leader it’s not ok to dwell there. Keep your focus right. What do you want to be remembered for? What legacy do you want to leave?
- What’s your experience? Have you ever had an awesome night planned and not many turn up? How did you react?
- How do you overcome disappointment when your night doesn’t pan out as you had hoped? What would you advise other Youth Leaders is this situation?