Ah, the fall. High School Football. You can see your breath. You’re eating overpriced nachos from the under-staffed school booster club concession stand. There’s nothing better than the crack of the football helmets hitting together. The cheerleaders in the background, the coach barking commands to his team. The team listens then works together in perfect unison to score a touchdown.
The difference between the picture we just painted and your role as a youth worker? You’re not in the stands in the youth ministry game, my friend. You are a coach. Here are some thoughts about coaching your volunteer team in the seasons ahead.
PRESEASON (late summer)
A coach in this season is focused on making sure his team is ready to perform at the highest level. Training and conditioning are the key. Preparation is essential for success on the field. In your ministry pre-season (July/August) make sure your team is trained and ready for the challenges of the season ahead.
INSEASON (school year)
A coach in this season is focused on winning games. Watching game films, evaluation and adjustments are key here. A youth ministry coach needs to constantly be evaluating services, programs and people to make sure each are working effectively. You can make changes at this point, but they have to be the right ones because the game is on the line.
This season is hardly “off” right? We recently looked back on this past summer and it felt busier than another other season this past year. So forgive us where the analogy breaks down a bit — but a coach in the off season becomes a strategist. They change up the playbook. They toss out what wasn’t working and experiment with something new. They take advantage of the lull and focus on recruiting new talent for their team. They plan ahead and make sure they are ready for when the team is assembled in the preseason once again.
Go get ‘em, coach!
This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.