A little over a year ago Greg Stier did a chapel series for the Dare 2 Share staff on Nehemiah, specifically the leadership principles we can learn from Nehemiah. The book has been in the back of my mind since then to read and “marinate” on so I recently took time to dive in and soak it all in. While I’m wrestling through the text and applying it to my life and ministry let me share 3 quick thoughts I’ve learned from Nehemiah over the past week or so:
1) You have to have a vision and burden for what God is calling you to do (Nehemiah 1). Nehemiah was burdened for Jerusalem and rebuilding the wall (Neh 1:4). Nehemiah was moved emotionally for the task he was called to do.
2) Interestingly enough, even though Nehemiah had a heavy heart and clearly had seen what he was called to do, he was patient as he approached the task. He didn’t dive right in to rebuilding the wall when he got to Jerusalem, he walked the city and observed (Neh 2:11-15).
3) Even though he alone had received the vision and calling, Nehemiah knew he couldn’t go it alone (Neh 3). At first, as I read this chapter, I was bored with laundry list of people and tasks and was quickly reminded of those geneology passages of scripture where someone begat someone who begat someone…But then it hit me, in this case, the list of names and specific tasks was critical. Nehemiah needed a team significantly bigger than himself to accomplish the task at hand.
I’m grateful to God for His Word, what He chooses to reveal to us, and when He chooses to do so. There is great power and wisdom in the book of Nehemiah.
Well, it’s finally here. A weekend that is several months in the making and had to get rescheduled due to my concussion back in January. We have a Youth Ministry Strategist/Coach/Consultant coming in this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited and stressed and nervous all at once!
We have two primary objectives we are wanting to tackle this weekend:
- ALIGNMENT of our Student Ministry within the overall life of our church. Basically, is what we’re doing in Student Ministry helping us accomplish our church’s mission statement and are the things we doing moving in the same direction as our church.
- SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT of teenagers from 7th-12th grades. We want to start with the end in mind so that everything we do from 7th – 12th grade is contributing to the end goal we are trying to accomplish with each student. This will hopefully make all of our programming, trip, events, and curriculum questions very easy to answer in the sense that if those things aren’t helping us accomplish the end goal in the lives of these teenagers, then why would we even bother doing them?
This is big picture stuff…stuff that I love to frame and put in place and then execute for years to come. I’m excited at the potential of our Student Ministry and even more excited for that potential to be realized and lived out. This weekend marks one of the first and most critical steps in this process.
More to come…
Here at Grace Fellowship Church I am having ongoing conversations with my boss as well as the Student Ministry Team dealing with the big picture of our ministry. We’ve been working on establishing the role of our Student Ministry in the spiritual development of teenagers that we minister to (CLICK HERE to read a previous post I wrote on this topic). As we continue to wade through that conversation we are also working on establishing our Student Ministry Purpose Statement/Mission Statement. Here are the steps that we’ve taken on our journey thus far:
- Start with the church’s mission statement: “The mission is to join God in Building a Community in order to Reach a Community – in essence – building and reaching.” As a ministry of Grace Fellowship Church I believe we must stay aligned with the overall mission of our church.
- Evaluate the mission statement. This was a relatively easy process as I had evaluated Grace’s mission statement during my hiring process this past summer. We simply evaluate it based on scripture and agreed it’s a very biblical statement, just about every church I’ve ever heard of has a biblically based statement. But more than that our church’ is very Great Commission focused statement which is very important to me and every church, while biblical, may not be missionally focused in this way.
- Determine what needs to be reflected in our Student Ministry purpose statement. The way our church’s mission statement reads actually made this step extremely easy: Building and Reaching. We are leaning towards using different language, however the concepts will be central to our statement.
- Start by writing the statement around this central idea. We started with “make disciples who make disciples” which reflects the Great Commission (THE Cause) and the idea of Building & Reaching. As our team talked through this we realized that we are constantly talking about the Spiritual Development of our teens and that language is more of who we are at Grace. We have morphed “Building & Reaching” to “make disciples who make disciples” to “spiritually develop teens who will spiritually reproduce themselves.” The concept is the same in all 3 statements.
- Wordsmith. This is where we find ourselves now and so far it has been the most difficult step to get through. We actually go back and forth between all 3 options I just shared for our central idea. We are going to need to pick 1 sooner or later and then start building the statement around it. We have toyed with several variations built around each of them. Once we land the plane, I will be sure to share the outcome.
It would be of great benefit to me as we continue to work through this process to hear what your Youth Ministry Mission Statement or Purpose Statement is. Would you mind taking 15 seconds and typing it in the COMMENTS below to share with me and other Youth Leaders who might benefit from your ideas? Thanks for joining us on this journey!