No matter the reason or requirement, I think it is important to sit down and think through your philosophy of ministry every so often. Take some time to come up with a concise statement of things that you believe are key to why and how you do what you do. Something that would fit one side of one page.Obviously you cannot fit every single thing on there, but the point is to have your key big overarching values, that guide you and your ministry.
It is helpful for you to have to share with your staff, leaders, volunteers, and even to provide to the parents of your ministry. Here is my most recent one, that I provided to during interviews, offered to my current church leadership and have shared with the parents of my ministry. (*feel free to steal, borrow, or tweak)
PHILOSOPHY OF YOUTH MINISTRY
The Church as a whole is to do the God-centered work of the sharing the gospel and ministering to the next generation spiritually, while also developing them socially, physically, mentally, and emotionally, so they can become mature successful, independent lifetime Christ-followers that server and love God, others and themselves.
Key Passages: II Tim. 3:10-17, Eph. 4:10-17
A creative, systematic teaching of the scriptures is foundational for the spiritual growth and maturing of the youth of today’s church. Right belief (Orthodoxy) is what supports and moves forward right living (Orthopraxy). It is the power of the Holy Sprit and the truth of God’s Word that changes lives and brings belief.
II. Culturally Sensitive, Relevant and Relational Ministry
In an ever changing culture and society surround young people; the church must be willing to be culturally sensitive in it’s approach in reach the next generation. The truth of God’s Word is unchanging. It is not relative truth, but has always been and still remains relevant truth. The need for authentic community and connection with God and others is found in relational ministry where God’s word is taught and discussed.
III. Engaged, Enabled Parents and Adults
Informed, interested, involved and invested parents along with other caring adults create long-term faith and lifestyle that will last long beyond the youth ministry years. Parents are the first and most important influencers in a child’s faith and should be. They are the life-long disciplers. A youth ministry’s role is not to replace that God given responsibility but rather be a help along side of it. Strong parent and adult ministry in a church make a strong youth ministry.
IV. Equipping to Actively Serve and Minister
Faith that is believed and lived will be faith that is given away in both word and deed. Both inside and outside the church, youth should be equipped to be active participants in serving and ministering. Students should be taught and then sent locally, nationally and even globally to serve the spiritual, social and physical needs of others.
V. Organized and Intentional Ministry of Excellence
Clear vision and intentionality in pursuing ministry excellence is what the youth, the church and God deserve. Through professional demeanor, leadership, and the strategic focus on both the youth ministries and church’s core values a youth ministry will find success and respect.