I don’t pretend to have all the answers or do everything correctly (I don’t think anyone can do that). But we have had some success with a little focus.
“The shorter way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time.” – Mozart
It’s easy to try and do too much too soon. When I first started at my church, we had just a hand full of students. If we would have tried to do everything we do now back then, we would have failed.
That first year we focused on relationships. Relationships are always important. And that’s all we had at the start. The goal was: focus on the student and get to know them. Then encourage them to invite. We didn’t have much, including music, but we created an environment where it was obvious that our adults cared about our students. After year one, we outgrew our space and had the opportunity to move our service into the main auditorium. More people, more space, and more resources opened the door for music.
The second year we focused on music. Well my wife did. She’s the musician. But we really emphasized worship and the importance of it. It was our focus. We gained more momentum as a ministry.
The third year we focused on serving. Inside and outside the ministry. We trained students to run sound, run computers, created teams to set up and take down. We wanted to create ownership. We wanted to have a student run service. It was so successful that it spilled over onto Sunday mornings. Outside of the church, we became more involved with serving in our community. We stayed focus and made progress.
The fourth year we focused on small groups. We had dabbled in small groups before, but never made it a focus. In our fourth year, it was obvious that we needed to now break up our large group.
In this fifth year, we have focused on system. We have created a schedule that is allowing us to cater to middle school and high school separately while still having our worship time together and small groups. This system has keep us on schedule and has more adults and students serving than before.
This focus has helped our progress. Nothing is perfect, but each year we have built on the momentum we have had from the year before. Don’t force it if it’s not going to be successful. Focus on one thing, get it right (or close), and move onto the next thing. It’s important to have the momentum before you create the moment.