Just returned from a wonderful midweek teen worship service (UNITE). We had a guest speaker and a good friend of mine with us tonight. Tony Howeth did a tremendous job and really helped me and our teenagers. It was exactly what we needed as we one week out from Consumed Teen Revival.
Every time this time of year I began to reevaluate what I am doing. Sometimes I think about it in the background of my mind and other times like now it is more deliberate. I have been thinking about “how we do youth ministry” and how try lead in different areas of church ministry. About a year ago I was introduced to a principle that used in the Chic Fi la company. It was developed by George Eckes and is one of the more famous Process Improvement equations.
Here is what is basically means to us in youth ministry:
E stands for effectiveness
This is how well we hit achieve the goals we have set forth. For us and all churches following a proper new testament model we are aiming at making “ultraportable disciples”. We want our teenagers to be evangelized, established, equipped, and exported into ministry. We want them to help in the work of making disciples of all nations.
Q stands for quality
We have a Biblical mandate to teach and model the right doctrines. We must strive to preach the whole counsel of God. We cannot water down the Message. If we are going to see life change then it must happen from preaching the Word of God. That is why we center our services around the preaching of the Word of God. We preach the Word. Not just a short devotional time we give real time to the preaching of the Word (30 minutes plus). Our team does our very best to be a voice for the Text. We have many non-negotiables.
A stands for acceptance
This is where things get tricky. We do not want to simply “teach the Bible to students” we want to “teach students the Bible”. The Bible is not boring so we should not present it in away that makes it appear boring. We want to create an environment where they feel safe, engaged, and all the other words the new breed of young pastors have taught us to say.
Conclusion: You will note that, in the equation, if either one of those variables is low, it impacts on the overall effectiveness of the solution and you don’t get extra points for an exceptional score on either side of the equation. They are interdependent. Even though they are interdependent does not mean that I am willing to sacrifice Q for A. There is a great deal of pressure from the Christian youth media world to sacrifice quality for acceptance. They say a Bible teaching, Savior Sensitive 10 youth program will only be accepted on a level of 1 and yield no effectiveness.
Having a tight hand on doctrine and an fairly open hand on methods we must keep our eye on the quality of what we are providing. Cool ideas, themes, campaigns, promos, and creative communication is all great until it begins to change the quality of what we are providing.