In youth ministry, your community changes year-by-year. This is true of the whole church, of course, but it’s especially true of the teenagers; every September brings a new crop of participants and parents who have zero experience of the youth programming before they started.
Which means, “The way we’ve always done it” develops for some people over a single year.
So that thing you’re considering changing–that Bible study you want to launch, that retreat you want to plan, that time change you’re mulling–may seem like a major disruption to the people who are here now; the 11th and 12th graders like things the way they are. But what about the new 9th graders and 6th graders? How do prospective changes look through the eyes of those who don’t know the way things are?
What if we thought equally about the students we’ll be working with next year and the year after that in deciding the shape our youth programming should take? What if we planned not only for the ones who are here now, but the ones who aren’t here yet?