Category: Stratagy

I’m running a meeting this week where I’v asked all people involved in children’s work to get together. I initially want to take the ‘temperature’ of that area of the church so I know what my next step will be.

I decided to put together a more creative way of getting to find out what people really feel about the ministry. So I am using several models/ideas and mashing them all up.

The main aim of the meeting is to find out what the volunteers see of the overall ‘win’ of the ministry. This idea of finding the win is from the book Seven Practices of Effective Ministry.

Once we have worked out the ‘Win’ of the children’s ministry, we’ll then think through a SWOT analysis of the ministry. I’ll do the SWOT analysis by getting the group into twos around tables with maybe a bowl of sweets or cake, to try to get a relaxed feeling. I will also give each table a card from myCreative Whack Pack, these cards (from Roger VonOech) try to stimulate creativity by asking crazy questions of an idea like ‘What would a 6-year-old think of this’. Some people may not find this helpful, some may. The table idea from The World Cafe model. I will have a print out with other SWOT analysis pointers mindmap style like this:

  • Internal Strengths that help us meet our goal
    • What would the church & community say are our strengths?
    • What needs are we meeting in the church & community?
    • What assets do we possess? (financial, property, key relationships, or maybe just awesome people)?
    • We are incredible at…

The hoped outcome will be a clear idea what Win looks like in the children’s ministry with a few glaring things in each of the SWOT analysis categories that can be celebrated (SO) and addressed (WT) to make the Win happen each week.

So overall i’m using the some of The World Cafe philosophy with SWOT, mindmaps and Whack on the side of the head.

Lets see if it works



I seem to be in a constant battle with productivity and I just spend far too much time in-front of my computer mostly doing admin stuff (this is my day so its OK).  So I decided over the last week or so to really try to get on top of my time and productivity.   I therefore thought I’d share what I’m up to as it may help some other poor youth worker who spends too much time on the wrong stuff.

Where are we heading?

I first had to work out what I here to do.   So I have spent some time working on vision/strategy and direction for the overall youth ministry. This means that I can then start to work out where I should invest my time and energy.   More about vision here

What’s Good vs Right?

There are lots of lots of good ideas and no end of people will tell you their great idea that you should do!  But once you have a vision and strategy, you then have a measuring rod for all these good ideas.  You can then say ‘this is a great idea, but may not be the right idea for our ministry at this time’.  This can save you a lot of time and help you be more productive on the right stuff.

What’s really worth my time?

I got this idea from a post by Tim Schmoyer that asked ‘What is REALLY worth my time in student ministry?‘   This is a challenging list to make, everything that you do in your ministry, write it down  and ask is it really worth doing.  Tim asked ‘Is it life changing‘, I kept that question but also related by to the ministries vision so also asked is it ‘missional‘? ‘Does it help people to go DEEP (into God) and/or WIDE (into the world)? This has helped me to start to see what things I do that I can maybe drop or give to others. For example do I really need to do flyers? Do they help people to change there lives, go DEEP and/or WIDE or is it a missional activity….eeeeerrrrr…no! Some stuff is no but you still have to do it like money stuff…O well.  It also highlights stuff I need to do more of like meeting with young people one to one.

Time Map

OK so now we have looked at what we should do and what we do that we shouldn’t!  I now think I/we need to think through our overall time.  This was for me where a post off Lifehacker, one of  one of my fav blogs, come along.  It talks about mapping your week to examine what you spend your time on.  This is sort of timesheet high-bred.  I also read this post by REYouthPastor called ‘Youth Pastor Productivity’.  In the post he states that for him his time should map out:

  • 15 hours a week youth programs (including before and after time)
  • 8 hours a week preparing for talks / sessions/ programs
  • 2 hours a week think about small church youth ministry strategies and future planning
  • 4 hours a week meeting staff
  • 4 hours a week doing 1-to-1 stuff
  • hopefully 4-5 hours a week doing admin stuff, in reality probably a bit more.

Thats a good start to looking at how my week could pan out, so I’m not doing too much admin( worth my time?) and more face to face (worth my time).  So I put into my little time map that above list.

More Creativity with To Dos

Iv also started to use FreeMind to mind map my To Dos.  I use DEEP and WIDE are guides and try to keep my To Dos liked, so it always comes back to Where I am heading and is this a good To Do or a Right To Do?

I am also using FreeMind to be more creative with other parts of my ministry and to clear my head!



This is the ‘vision’ I see panning out for the youth work/ministry at Malmesbury Abbey.  Its based on the our core values of youth work: voluntary participation, empowerment, equality of opportunity and informal education.  And a few ideas that I have stolen from other book etc.


I really like DEEP & WIDE from Dare2Share , I came across it through Life in Student Ministry but I found that their strategy for implementing DEEP & WIDE would not translate well into my context so I ‘borrowed’ the terms but left the strategy!

DEEP & WIDE helps us know WHAT we are.

Abbey youth…a missional community striving to go DEEP into God’s love and WIDE into the world


I made us of some of the  Purpose Driven Youth Ministry first because it makes you ask WHY.  Then the ‘target audience’ part makes you ask WHO.  The TA I think is far to rigid and we live a much more fluid world then I think TA gives credit but I use TA for big brushstrokes.


I inherited a lot of great youth ministry.  And at one level I had to think how it could fit into the above.  Fortunately I didn’t have too much trouble.  This is how I think it all fits together…


are we trying to reach?

Main Group


is our aim?

Main Aim


will we try to do this?


Community (no contact) WIDE (Evangelism) Detached (not yet in place)
Congregation (Some contact) WIDE (Evangelism) Friday Night Thing (open aimed at non-churched)
Committed (Regular contact) DEEP (Discipleship) Pipeline/Trax
Core (Leader) DEEP (Discipleship) Pipeline +


  • Is shaped a great deal from inherited youth work
  • Has to work in mid-sized church
  • I need to expand on missional
  • A lot of the current youth ministry focuses on DEEP need more WIDE
  • It quite modernistic