Written by Mike Sheley
Even though December is the end of the calendar year, it’s only about halfway through the ministry school year for someone involved in junior high ministry.
However, it’s still a really good time to sit down and reflect upon what has been happening in your ministry so far this year.
I know the concept of slowing down and reflecting seems foreign in our instant, digital world.
But it’s a good idea to write or type some observations and then add some thoughts about the good and bad, the challenges and the victories, the problems that need ideas and the ideas that need refining.
Here’s a checklist to get you started as you look back at your ministry with junior highers this school year:
- What is the state of your family? Have you made them the priority God wants them to be or are they missing out because your are caring more for other families?
- How is your health? Sleeping well? Eating right? Exercising? Taking time to relax? Stressed?
- How is your personal devotional time? Are you reading the Bible just to prepare to share to others or for what God wants to do in your own life?
- Have you been talking with God? Are your prayers a good blend of you thanking God for what He has done and asking Him to help you, seeking His guidance and celebrating His holiness?
- How are the students in your ministry? Are you seeing new faces? Are students growing in their faith? Are they having fun?
- Do you have enough leaders? Have you been training and equipping the leaders you have? Have you shared conversation over coffee or a meal? Have you written any thank you notes to them?
- Do parents of your junior highers feel like you are communicating well with them? Are you ministering to them so you can increase your ministry to students?
- How did the events you led go so far? Is there anything you would have done differently? Is there anything you are especially proud of or thankful for with these events?
- How is your weekly program or service going? What was the best series? Which series did not go as well as planned? Which games were favorites for your students?
- How well have you done at connecting with other local youth pastors? Have you encouraged anyone? Have you learned from anyone?
This is not about adding up your pluses and minuses to get some kind of final score.
It’s about learning both from what went well and what did not. It’s about becoming wiser by taking some time to reflect.
And if you want to make this even more helpful, then instead of going through this process alone, go through it with your spouse, leaders and even close friends.
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Mike is the Middle School Pastor at Mount Pleasant Christian Church in Greenwood, Indiana, where he oversees their ministries for 5th-8th graders. He’s been in full-time youth ministry over 15 years with most of that time focused on preteens and junior highers.