Processes and infrastructure are critical to the sustainability of youth ministry. Mark DeVries is right that without systems for recruiting and shepherding volunteers, calendaring annual events, and tracking the participation of students, ministry efforts will be stuck in what’s-the-next-thing mode.
I’ve even added a communication strategy to my mix of infrastructure tools, thanks to this Youth Cartel course.
E-newsletters and granular attendance rosters are not, in themselves, ministry, though. The person who spends all their time and energy in them while not also building routines for connecting directly with students will almost certainly miss the next thing, at least in the lives of teenagers.
I don’t do both of these parts of youth ministry well at the same time. For entire seasons I bury my head in schedules and budgets. Weeks go by with hardly a single conversation with a student. Then there are stretches where it’s non-stop student interaction without the net of an hourly schedule.
I need to figure out how to juggle these two at the same time.