If you have your mid-week youth event on Wednesday nights like me, you know what I am talking about. Thursday morning is always the most volatile time of the week for me. Things at youth group last night could have gone great. Maybe a ton of students showed up; good reports back from my small group leaders + super fun game = great night.
Or it could easily have be the opposite of that. Low numbers because everyone had “homework.” Students all over the place in small group so nothing got accomplished + game bombed = :(
No matter what happened at youth group last night, the sun rises again on another Thursday and it is time to get back to work. A lot of times Thursdays can be invigorating in the sense that I feel I get a lot of life and energy and direction from my time on Wednesday nights. It’s one thing to plan something in your office by yourself, but when it comes together on a Wednesday, it breathes new life into Thursday. Or on a morning like today, I’m a bit more pensive. A bit more unsure about what is next and questioning every facet of our ministry model. Do you ever feel that way? Ready to burn the whole thing down just so you can start over?
Ok, lets be real, it’s never really that bad. It’s just a feeling of wanting more. Thursday is always my deconstruction day where I dissect and analyze every thing about the night before.
What worked? What didn’t? What was good? What could have been better?
That’s a volatile place to be when you’re putting everything on the table. But I think that is our job right?
If we are not constantly assessing, critiquing our own ministries and processes, how will we know if what we are doing is working? Or if it even matters? It’s certainly not our volunteer leaders job to spend extra time and energy processing and trying to improve our ministries, especially if we aren’t already doing that. I don’t want someone in church leadership above me to start critiquing my ministry because I haven’t.
I try to live in between two ideas. The first is to “not fix what’s not broken” and the second is the reason we do things is because “this is how we always do it.” I don’t want to exist in a ministry that is constantly trying to reinvent itself so much that we never gain any traction and end up in an identity crisis every 9 months. But I also don’t want to get 3 years down the road and have missed the writing on the wall (in the lives of our students, or in our faith community, or even in culture) that things needed to be tweaked and changed.
Living in the tension of those two ideas on Thursday mornings is my sweet spot. If you find yourself in the same place, you are not alone.
How do you assess and critique your ministry along the way? What process do you have?
Is it more easy for you to leave things as they are or are you constantly changing your ministry?