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Beginning with the End


They annoy me like few little gadgets can.  I’m not a tech junkie—but I’m a fan of most gadgets.  Even still, I’ve never found a GPS that I like.  I don’t like the way they type.  I don’t like the way they talk to me when I go a different way than their suggested route.  And, most of the time, I think they lead me along the most inefficient path.  GPS’s are really frustrating when you already know where you are going.  They can be invaluable when you don’t.  Do you know where you are going?  And, no, that isn’t some smooth entrance to a conversation about the 4 spiritual laws.

Beginning with the end in mind is one of the values at the congregation I serve.  Our gifted and talented youth ministers, Gary, Laurie, and Jane have been roaming the halls of St. John’s for a long time—and they have invested themselves into the lives of thousands of youth and families.  In their almost 60 years of combined service and experience, they have developed a wonderful philosophy that begins with the end in mind.

Outcome Based Youth Ministry is an approach towards equipping students with faith skills that will become essential to their lives of faith.  In essence, we think every student that graduates from high school should be able to incorporate these skills into their life.  Here is a sample of the faith skills that we think everyone should know and utilize.

  1. Understand the message of the Good News
  2. Know your purpose in life and pray through it daily
  3. Learn a personal bible study method
  4. Understand the Christian view of finances
  5. Understand the importance of and how to develop a personal faith web
  6. Create an ‘I Believe’ statement
  7. Develop a personal mission statement
  8. Develop a biblical self-esteem
  9. Be able to introduce yourself
  10. Have a foundational understanding of the Old and New Testaments
  11. Develop a prayer journal/notebook
  12. Recognize God-sightings
  13. Learn how to open and close a meeting with prayer
  14. Learn how to lead a bible study

That’s an abbreviated list.  There are 44 items on our ministry skills list.  Some of the tasks are more involved than others and not every youth is exposed to all 44.  However, with this list as our GPS, we have built a youth ministry that equips our students with skills from the first day they are with us.  Teaching moments, leadership opportunities, and weekly activities all build on this list and launch off from it.  In other words, we begin with the end in mind.

What would you put on your list?


One Comment leave one →
  1. Lynn Ness permalink
    3October2012 12:29

    Excellent……Hats off to a wonderful team. May God continue to use you all in mighty ways.

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