Friday, October 9, 2015

"I have a great idea!"

If you have been in ministry longer than a week you have experienced the following scenario:
“Hi __________ (insert your name here), I have a great idea for the youth group (or insert your ministry here)!”  Often the idea comes from someone who has nothing to do with the student ministry of your church.  Sometimes the ideas truly are great and sometimes they are not.  Most of the time they mean well.

Regardless of who says this or if it is a great idea or not I have a few thoughts:
Opportunity to Equip 
This is an excellent opportunity to equip someone minister.  If it truly is a great idea have them submit a plan and turn them loose to lead it with your input on expectations.  Maybe the person’s small group or Sunday School class could get involved in leading the event.


Look at the Calendar

Sometimes it is a great idea but you know your community’s culture and calendar.  Would the idea actually work?  What’s happening the week before and the week after that might get in the way of people participating in the idea.

Ask the Idea Gal Some Question
How does this fit into our church’s vision and purpose?

What will this event accomplish in the lives of students and or our community?
What are your goals for this idea? 
If the idea requires money where will that money come from?

Will it Work with the Student Ministry Plan
What do you have going on this year in student ministry and how will this fit into your strategy and plan?  Sometimes great ideas are brought to you a few days or even a week or two before the event.  I often get approached from other ministries in our community inviting our youth to participate in an event and many times there is not enough time to promote it.  I received a call on a Monday inviting our youth group to an event on Wednesday.  The person even wanted me to take the time to call each student.  Poor planning = Poor Success.  I would encourage you to map our your entire year’s student ministry from messages/lessons to events and activities.

Learn to Say No
For most of us it is hard to say "No".  Too many times I agreed to do something because I didn't know how to say "No" and I ended up dreading the entire process or event.  Figure out your parameters for saying "Yes" and "No".  Is this something someone else can do?  Is it something that only you can do?  Is it part of your ministries vision and purpose?  Do you have the time to invest to make it a success?  Is it something that God wants you to do?

Be Honest with the Person:

Thanks for your input.  I don't think it is a great idea.
Here is why I don’t think it’s a great idea . . . .  Maybe you can tweak the idea and come back with a plan. 

I honestly don’t have time to plan out this great idea
We all have much on our plate and most student ministers are wearing multiple hats in their church and doing at least two different full time positions rolled into one.  So we can’t truly give student ministry 100%.   We already have messages and worship gatherings to plan as well as activities and events.  So we are busy in ministry and we have family life and a private life on top of that.

I don’t have the time to give what would take to make this a success.

Seize the opportunity to let this person take the lead in a ministry event.  Equip them to lead, that would probably be a better use of time because the more leaders the more you can accomplish.  Perhaps come up with an event form that helps give guidelines and deadlines.  (I’ll blog on this in the near future)

I won’t do well leading this because it just isn’t my passion.

BUT I can see you are passionate about this.  Can you take the lead on this one?  We all excel in areas we are passionate about.  I’m not passionate about car washes therefore I don’t do car washes.

Get ready because someone near you has an idea!

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