Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” (NASB)
The Excellence in Youth Ministry project is designed to unite youth pastors around a set of shared values and to help these youth pastors lead their church’s youth ministry with excellence. There are three components to the project:
Statement of Values
This is a list of personal and ministerial values developed around Jesus’ commandment to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:30). Youth pastors join EIYM by simply reading the list of values and signing up with a short information form. Our desire is that every youth pastor in Oklahoma will commit to participate in EIYM. The site will populate a list of youth pastors/leaders that will be available for all to see. As the list of youth pastors grows, hopefully others will be encouraged to join in as well.
This is an evaluation tool to be used by a youth pastor to assess his or her areas of excellence and of needed growth. It is critical, once committing to a plan of action, to evaluate one’s progress in that commitment. The EIYM Personal Evaluation is a series of questions related to the nineteen value statements that comprise EIYM. The evaluation form will be sent to participants in printed form after committing to participate in EIYM. It will also be accessible on this website for personal evaluation and/or as a part of the Staff Investment Plan.
Staff Investment Plan
Each participant in EIYM should consider participating in the Staff Investment Plan. This is an investment plan that is used by a senior pastor or supervisor to help evaluate the ministry of the youth pastor, using encouragement in areas of ministry success, exhortation in areas of needed improvement, and investment in varied ministry responsibilities. The staff investment plan is ONLY available to a senior pastor or supervisor, whose youth pastor is participating in EIYM, and has voluntarily chosen to participate in the Staff Investment Plan option. In this plan, a copy of the youth pastor’s completed Personal Evaluation is emailed to the senior pastor or supervisor, who will in turn use that document as a staff evaluation tool. Pastors and supervisors will also receive an EIYM Investment Checklist and Planning Guide to use for a time of dialogue and equipping.
- EiYM is intended to communicate a set of shared values among youth pastors, with the working purpose of creating a better standard of youth ministry in our churches.
- EiYM is intended as a tool to help a youth pastor with self-evaluation in life and ministry, with the objective of excellence as an outcome.
- EiYM is intended as a tool to help a senior pastor or supervisor to evaluate the youth pastor and the youth ministry for the purpose of investment and growth in the life of the youth pastor.
IS NOT INTENDED
- EiYM is not intended to create conformity in a particular style of youth ministry. All youth ministries reflect unique approaches based on congregational differences.
- EiYM is not intended to provide a senior pastor or supervisor with a checklist or comparison tool by which a youth pastor is found lacking, resulting in dismissal. Investment, not dismissal, is the goal.
- EiYM is not intended to discourage youth pastors, but to encourage and unite them around a set of shared Biblical values and the pursuit of excellence.
EiYM is striving to bring the standard of excellence to every youth ministry in every church. It is not based on church size, professional level, or financial resources, but rather on a commitment to Biblical principles and an act of the will. Some expected outcomes of this project are:
- Unity of youth ministry commitment
- Heightened sense of expectation and passion in youth ministry
- Broken stereotypes of laziness and incompetence in youth ministry
- Increase in number of students reached with the Gospel
- Greater longevity of tenure for youth pastors
- Better relationships between youth pastors and senior pastors
We believe Excellence in Youth Ministry is best described and defined utilizing four essential values: Love, Investment, Proclamation, and Proficiency.
Jesus commanded us to love God with all of our heart. To love God with all of our heart is to do so with all of our capacity. Our waking thoughts are about Him, our daily tasks are guided by Him, our relational interactions point to Him, and our evening prayers exalt Him. Our youth ministries need to imitate this kind of love, and let it fuel a passion for all we do.
Jesus commanded us to love God with all our soul. To love God with that which will stretch into eternity (our soul) is to be fully committed to all that will last forever. We grow through the investment of others and we should likewise be committed to growing others through our investment in them. This is a key part of the Christian life.
Jesus commanded us to love God with all of our mind. When we spend concentrated time in His word, we are in large part fulfilling this command. We also, as ministers of the Gospel, are responsible to teach God’s Word to others. We must do this with great clarity and accuracy. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Jesus commanded us to love God with all of our strength. Our call to Christ is a bid to come and die, to give our all. There is no room for laziness and incompetency when gazing at the cross. Just to maintain the activity schedule alone, youth pastors should and need to be the hardest working people in the church. Also, because of the age group they work with, youth pastors have to be equipped for integrity, sensibility, and maturity in all things. Every effort must be given to accomplish the task with excellence.
If we are ever to see generations of students come to know the Lord, and to become fully devoted followers of Christ, leaders must make a commitment to pursue their vocation with passion. They must do their work with excellence and great effort, yet humbly remembering the source of strength for labor, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NASB, emphasis added)
Why you should take the pledge:
“I believe the work we do in student ministry is vitally important. The teenage years are critical in reaching a person for Christ. I feel we should approach our calling and work with the gravity and fervency it deserves and requires. EIYM unites us as leaders for that purpose.”
It is important for leaders to continue to grow. This is something we all can agree on. Excellence in Youth Ministry has the potential to exponentially impact the state of youth ministry in the church. Leaders who are serious about growing to do ministry at a new level should take the pledge of excellence.
Statement of Values
I want to be a participating member of Excellence in Youth Ministry.