Tear It Down And Start Over

Every six months, I get away for a couple days, hide out in a coffee shop, and take a sledgehammer to our youth ministry.

Sounds excessive, right?

It might not be the way you process things, but it is absolutely necessary for me to abandon my office hours for a few hours, so that I can zoom out and look at what’s really happening. If you’re a fan of Andy Stanley’s writings, he talks about this principle in 7 Practices For Effective Ministry. It’s called, “Work On It, Not Just In It.”

Maybe it’s because, when I clean out a closet, I pull every single thing out, and then put it back where it needs to be, slowly throwing stuff away as I go.

Maybe it’s because I just don’t process things as quickly and efficiently as the rest. But there has to be a moment in your year, in which you sit back, evaluate the current system and its effectiveness. Sometimes, that’s scary, but it’s absolutely vital to the direction of your ministry and to the accomplishment of your goals.

Here’s what it helps me to do, though:
– Cut out the excess fat of the student ministry.
– Re-evaluate (outdated and obsolete) organizational assumptions that once governed our systems.
– Re-acquaint myself with the vision of the student ministry.
– Dream of more relevant and effective methods of accomplishing our vision.
– Set new goals.

I’ve found that if I never pause to re-evaluate, I’ll drift from the vision God has given us. If you want to keep a laser focus, tear it down and start over!

p.s. You HAVE to schedule time to do this, because you will never have time to!

2 Responses to “Tear It Down And Start Over”

  1. David Farwell

    30 November 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Great post Mark. I have been at my recent post for only a year and a half and already recognize the need to take time to evaluate and seek out any “sacred cows”. Keep writing and leading well!

  2. Gbezzz

    10 July 2014 at 10:16 am

    Awesome post! This applies in so many areas. Not only youth ministry but life in general.
    Plus… you get coffee out of the deal!!!