It is always a great feeling when we know that our ministries are successful. Often times, we start to look at other ministries that we consider successful and want to model ours after theirs when we feel like ours aren’t up to par. What makes a ministry successful though?
It can be hard to think of ministry as a business; however, it is okay for ministries to work and operate by a business model. Incorporate a mission, values, and goals. It is a way to measure or evaluate the progress of a ministry. Are you working toward your goals? Are you holding true to your values? Are you planning around your mission?
When we step back and look at it this way, there will always be areas of concern and improvement. However, the best thing about working in a ministry is that God is sovereign and works in the lives of the kids – prevailing no matter what challenges we face. That is why we should never lose hope even if we feel like we aren’t making progress!
One of LifeWay’s Kid Ministry leaders, Brian Dembowczyk, gives six tips to keep in mind while evaluating your ministry in LifeWay Kids’ Kids Ministry 101 blog:
- Start with the end goal in mind. Sometimes a kids ministry is considered healthy if kids are attending and if they and their parents seem to be satisfied. Now, there is nothing at all wrong with those two measures, but they don’t give you the full picture of your ultimate goal of anchoring the gospel in your kids’ hearts. That end goal needs to drive how you evaluate every part of your kids ministry.
- Focus on lead measures. A lead measure is something you can control that produces a result, also called a lag measure. So a lead measure would be inviting kids to an event and a corresponding lag measure would be attendance at the event. You can’t control people showing up, but you can control inviting people.
- Evaluate objectively and subjectively. Analyze as many objective numbers as you can—they tell a story, but they don’t tell the full story. There is no way to quantify gospel transformation; a big part of it is qualitative, or subjective. Do you see the gospel sinking in? Do you see evidence of gospel transformation? Those are important evaluative considerations.
- Strengthen what is going well. You probably know the strengths of your kids ministry before you even start evaluating it, but your evaluations should confirm them.
- Fix what can go better. While you want to focus on your strengths, you don’t want to neglect the areas where you do need to improve. Figure out where you should be in these areas and why you aren’t there, and then come up with a plan to start moving that direction.
- Scrap what isn’t working at all. As you evaluate your kids ministry, you may find that there are things that just aren’t working at all. Bathe these in prayer and once you confirm that they need to stop, stop them as quickly and gently as possible. Yes, this will be painful, but in the end your kids ministry will be better for it.