I’m in the process of revamping my ministry. We have some solid programs going and the preaching is good at our worship gatherings. Our music ministry is doing well. We’ve even experienced significant growth and have gained a reputation in the community very quickly.
What we don’t have is strategy, direction, and vision.
I have ideas in my head for where we’re going. Things aren’t random. However, any strategies I have are stored in my head where no one else has access to them. So this last week has been a long process of attempting to articulate and form these ideas in concise, accurate, memorable, and transferable forms.
The part where I’m getting stuck is attempting to define what I want our students to look like when they graduate. Probably the most popular model over the last 8 years has been Andy Stanley’s “Seven Checkpoints.” It’s very nicely packaged. It probably contains everything I want it to contain, but I I’ve never really liked it. A couple of the checkpoints are too broad so they turn into catch all drawers, and a couple are too specific so they feel less important or like they should be a sub-category of another checkpoint. I’m also not a fan of using a checklist as the running illustration for your teaching strategy…too many negative connotations.
I’m trying to imagine what would a strategy look like which was based off the idea of calling out a students potential as a uniquely created in the image of God who has been bought with the ultimate price and empowered and sealed with the Holy Spirit. What should that person look like when they graduate high school? What higher state are we calling our students to strive for?
Here are the questions I keep asking myself:
- What are the most important ideas students needs to know?
- What do students need to be doing?
- What relationships do students need to have?
- What do I NOT want my students to look like?
- When am I most proud of my students?
- What ideas do I return to and teach the most?
- What do pastors who are older and wiser than me view as most important?
- What did I fail to learn as a teenager?
- What truths, disciplines, relationships, or activities have most positively (or negatively) altered my spiritual walk?
- Is it too complicated?
- Is it simplified to the point of distortion?
- Is it memorable?
- Is it transferable?
- What is missing?
- What can be left out?
- Are there too many points?
- Is the grid itself intriguing and inspiring (a checklist is not)?