Yesterday, a friend and I drove up to Maple Grove Minnesota to attend Dare2Share’s Ultimate Roadtrip youth leader event. Hannah and I went because we’re on Group Publishing’s SYMC Inside Track Team, specifically, we went to handout some packets from Group Publishing that included the Sept/Oct 2010 Group Magazine and some other goodies.
The plan was for me to wakeup about 3:15am and be on the road at 4 to drive to Cedar Falls, pick Hannah up, and then get to Minneapolis. Imagine my surprise when the alarm went off, I shut it off, and then woke up at 3:55am. Jumped out of bed and showered, in the car, stop at Road Ranger for a cup of coffee, and out of CR by 4:25. Hannah had also overslept, so we left CF about 5:30am. Had a great drive, and arrived in Maple Grove around 9:20-ish. Went to Starbucks for some caffeine, then over to the even site, Dave and Busters. We went inside, found our spot and started setting up the bags. Unfortunately, not everything was there, we were missing some books. We got the bags done and the lunch was at 10:30…yeah. Chicken, potatoes, rolls, and salad at 10:30am. It was good, but a little early for me.
The event started by 11:30 or so. Greg Stier walked us through a few things. He began by talking about ministry as a roadtrip. It was good stuff.
The overall premise is that, “Everything you do in youth minstry should drive toward a desired destination. Determining that destination is the single most important decision you will make when it coms to how to lead, structure and advance your youth ministry.”
He then went over 4 specific steps:
- Know where you are headed before you start driving. This forced us to ask ourselves the one question that matters most…”What could a great destination look like for our group?” The funny thing is that I’ve actually been thinking about this for the last few weeks. You’d think that a guy who had been at the same church for 5 years would know this by now…
- Prepare for your trip. We need to make sure that our tanks are filled spiritually, and that we’ve gone over our ministrys, looking for things that might get in the way. Stier calls these “flat tires”, they include things like: budget, church politics, need for leaders, etc.
- Use the right MAP. A MAP is a Ministry Action Plan. It forced us to ask how our existing lineup of stuff, programs, events, etc, fit the destination. He talked about using the bigger meetings (youth group) to recruit the smaller core that will go the distance.
- Hit the road, and rejoice over what happens on the trip. He broke this down into 3 pieces: Realize the every pothole and detour can make us stronger, Every mile marker your teens pass is progress toward the great destination, and Embrace the reality that not all your teenagers will make it all the way. That last one is especially sucky, yet each week I see evidence of kids that have been completely led astray and picked off, kids with no foundations, kids that have been choked out by the world. I also see a few, very few that are cultivating their relationships with God and growing.