Today’s blog post comes from Brian Mills, Student Pastor at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN. Brian and his team are doing great things in advancing the Kingdom in the Nashville area, and are reaching thousands of students with the gospel! You can keep up with Brian over at www.brianmills247.blogspot.com
A student ministry that works together wins together. That is a hard statement for those who have larger student ministries where the Jr High or Middle School students are divided apart from the High School Ministry, and both are staffed with youth pastors. It even multiplies more when you take that dynamic and add to it multiple campuses.
In this blog I want to raise the question how do you stay efficient with so many moving parts?
1. We are all ONE TEAM!
I know this sounds redundant but it might be the hardest thing to remember as you get larger and multiply your campuses. It is easy for each campus and each ministry (Middle School / High School) to function on their own on those campuses. Think about it, the MS pastor has his team and the HS pastor has his team then the campuses have their teams. This creates diversity in your ministry if you do not continually teach your staff and volunteers we are 1 team!
2. Work Together!
Long Hollow Student Ministry has taken the approach that we are all on the same page with our curriculum and sermon series on all campuses. You can attend any of our campuses and have a completely different feel yet be on the same page with the whole ministry.
I believe this is very important, and I was encouraged by Jeff Borton at Christ Fellowship in Miami to think this way. When you work together the cost goes down, the unity goes up and the focus is greater. Some of our campuses are not large enough to have a budget to produce videos, “cool” graphics and other creative elements, but if we are all on the same page we can share and use the same video or creative elements and ideas.
This is also very helpful in sermon preparations. I sit down once a week with all our campus youth pastors, high school and middle school pastors and we unpack the sermons series, upcoming Wednesday night details and all creative elements in our student ministry. Each sermon is more in-depth, stronger creatively and more challenging due to us all working together.
3. Win together and lose together!
Each ministry and campus within our student ministry always set’s goals. We set weekly goals, yearly goals and event goals. Each ministry is held accountable for their goals. I believe healthy competition is good, however, the second it moves to just being competitive and not supporting each other is the second we get focused on ourselves, and our own ministry, instead of what God has called us to do. If your high school team will not sign up a middle school student for an event, you have a problem. If one of your campuses is so against the other campus you might have a problem. Never forget the main thing! We are all on the same team so win and lose together. During a good game of football the offense might play better than the defense, but at the end of the game they all get a W or an L!!! They win and lose together.
4. Attend each other’s campus!
This might be one of the hardiest things to do but I do believe it is important at least once or twice a semester for each pastor to visit and even preach at one of the other campuses. We do a few events a year all together and if the students have seen all the youth pastors it draws us much closer together and does not make us many different youth ministries but one youth ministry on many different campuses.