Starting to think ahead

header-shieldIn case you don’t follow the NFL, the season officially begins tomorrow.  NO, unfortunately I’m not talking about games…I’m just talking about the actual beginning of their season…so they say.  It’s the time of the year that trades can happen and free agency can begin.  That is why there was a lot of activity happening in the NFL the past week. For instance, Reggie Wayne won’t get resigned by the Colts, Brandon Marshall got traded and Marshawn Lynch resigned.  None of these are official until tomorrow…when the season starts.

So, why do I mention this?  Because as the NFL season is just beginning, the student ministry “season” is coming to a close.  Sure, we have a few more months before school is out, but this is the perfect opportunity for you to be thinking ahead towards your offseason.

What are you talking about Tom?!?! There is no offseason in Student Ministry!?!

Haha, well, you are right, but I hope your summer season looks a lot different than your school year season.

So as your school year season is coming to a close, here are a few questions you can start asking yourself and your team as you think ahead towards next year:

  1. What was good about this year?
  2. What was bad about this year?
  3. What was confusing about this year?
  4. How well did we train and develop the volunteer leaders?  What could we have done differently?
  5. How well did we use social media?  What could be done better next year?
  6. What did we do to support families this year?  How can we improve?
  7. What needs to be cut from our program?
  8. What needs to be added to our program?

If you are not already thinking about these questions, my encouragement would be for you all to start developing a notebook with your observations.  Also, check in with your volunteer leaders and encourage them to start thinking through these questions as well.

It’s never too early to start making observations and thinking ahead about changes or additions that need to happen for next year.  The more we start processing them in the moment, while they are happening, the better off our evaluation will be at the end of our “regular season”.

What do you think?  What are some other questions you all ask as you process the year and look to make changes during the offseason? 

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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