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Go Back To The Basics

 —  January 3, 2013 — 2 Comments

When I was 9 years old I had to do a project on the Panama Canal.  The assignment was to write a 5 page paper that explained the history and structure of this modern wonder.  Let’s just say I took a simple assignment and made it complex, instead of 5 pages it ended up being 15.  When I handed in the project in it’s vinyl cover, I could tell my teacher was a little overwhelmed.  In the end I didn’t get the best grade because I failed to follow directions.

There are times when you will go over the top because you are either OVERLY PASSIONATE or INCREDIBLY STRESSED.  When your emotions gain control of your actions it’s easy to make what you do too complex.  This can cause:

  • Confusing Messages
  • Irrelevant Activities
  • Unclear Communication
  • Competing Systems

In other words it will water down your ministry and make it ineffective.  To avoid this you need to know the basics of your ministry.  That means knowing:

The Bottom Line: When delivering a message or an email you need to know what it is you are trying to say.  Take what you are trying to say and boil it down to one sentence.  Once you have that you can build on it; however, keep it clear.

What You Are Designed To Do: At the end of the day why does your ministry exist?  Answering this question will help you know the impact you are supposed to have on the students. Youth ministers can be lured into trying to be everything to anyone; however, God has given your ministry one purpose.  Focus on that purpose and you’ll see your ministry flourish.

Your Work Flow: A complex schedule will lead to overworking and exhaustion.  Creating a schedule and making to-do lists will help you sort out your day and tasks.  You’ll see what you are doing that isn’t necessary and what needs all your attention.  By prioritizing your work flow you’ll be able to build momentum and create more capacity in your life.

It’s easy to find ourselves in a complex ministry because you’ll be eager to impress students.  You’ll find yourself in situations when you want to say everything about a certain subject.  And then there will be seasons when Satan is attacking, making life confusing and when that happens it’s time to slow down.  Find a pace, ask God for guidance and go back to the basics.

Where else does ministry need to be more simple?

Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)

Chris Wesley


2 responses to Go Back To The Basics

  1. “It’s easy to find ourselves in a complex ministry because you’ll be eager to impress students.”

    I try to coach people that it’s more important to be EFFECTIVE than IMPRESSIVE, and per your post, effective is usually a lot simpler than impressive.

    Simple programs usually require less planning time, and less planning time frees you up to spend time with the people in your ministry. That’s the most effective use of your time anyway.

    • Aaron, thanks for the feedback. The key to being efficient is to remove obstacles. To remove obstacles means being simple and clear. While it does create less planning it does require more dreaming, thinking and reflecting. Big ideas need to be nurtured, shaped and cultivated.

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