In ministry, Christmas can be one of our busiest times of year. There are services to plan and serious themes of advent theology to discuss with your students. All of this is good and all of this will demand your time. That means that many of us are emerging in the new year as ministers who have been drained to empty. In the midst of this, our ministries often launch new programs, take retreats, and begin planning summer ministries in the early spring. So, how do we plan vision for a new year? Here are my top four ways to find vision for 2018:
1. Take Time to Sabbath and Pray
Whenever we feel drained that we can’t see a vision for our ministry going forward, it can always be a best practice to take a step out of our day to day routines and connect with God in different ways. This Sabbath could be a day or several days spent connecting with God. It is important that every minister spends time connecting with God and praying for ourselves and our ministries.
Doing ministry without taking a break to Sabbath and connect with God isn’t Biblical and it isn’t good for our ministries. Click To Tweet
In the early moments of this year, take time to connect with God and find God’s vision for your ministry and continue this practice throughout the year.
2. Read About New Ideas
This year, there will be times that will remind you that you do not have all the answers for your youth ministry. There are so many great youth ministry resources to excite your ministry and help you develop a vision or answer some of the tough questions. If you need some fresh ideas for your ministry try to pick up one of the wonderful youth ministry resources out there. You may learn something new about your own ministry by reading books written by other ministry veterans who have found vision and purpose for their ministries.
3. Spend Time With Other Youth Workers
One of my personal favorite things to do in ministry is to speak to other youth pastors who are in the trenches alongside of me. You can find established youth ministry networks all over the country or you could get several of your friends together for lunch to talk about the things that have worked best in their ministries over the past year and the successes and failures that they have come across while following their vision. You may also want to talk with them about how they plan out their year and accomplish their goals and God given visions for youth ministry. Ministry is meant to be done hand in hand with God and the Christian community around us. This year, don’t neglect the God given gift of community.
4. Talk and Pray With Your Adult and Student Leaders
Your students will find their community in their schools, homes, and your times together. There is no better way to implement vision than through all of your forms of leadership. It is always good to remember to pray alongside your team and share any visions and plans you may have for the new year. Ask your adult and student leaders where they feel like God is calling them to pour into the ministry and what visions they may see for the future of the ministry. If you are on the same page with your leadership team, they are able to pray specifically for your shared visions for your youth ministry and you can all work together to accomplish the goals to make the name of Christ known.
Jen Willard is a full-time youth pastor in Charlotte, NC where she lives with her husband, Bryan. She is currently attending Nazarene Theological Seminary to obtain a Masters of Divinity. Jen is a coffee snob, beach addict and travel enthusiast who loves walking with teenagers toward Jesus! Find me on INSTAGRAM and TWITTER as @DUCKJD.