The other day, someone asked me how long I had been involved in student ministry. Before I knew it, I had counted up over 12 years. Between the two years of volunteering, 18 months at my first ministry, six months of my internship, another year of volunteering, a year of resident ministry, and my current run of over six years at RCC, I was a bit overwhelmed with how fast it has flown by. So, I thought it was about time that I try something new. In fact, 2014 will be a year of several new things for my wife and me. I’ll blog about the other things later, but today is about the idea of passing it on.
After 12 years of student ministry experience, I hope that I have learned a few things that are worthy of passing on to others. So, in February, I’ll be doing my first workshop at a youth ministry conference. It’s called Open Boston, and it is designed for youth workers in the New England area. Specifically, I will be speaking (Actually, my wife will be with me, but I guess I’ll be the “main speaker.”) on “how to do student ministry on a small budget.” While the term “small” can be extremely relative, I feel that I have had quite a bit of experience doing ministry with little money. This does not mean my paycheck, either. Although, that is also small. My first ministry, I did not even have a budget. Anything we wanted to do for the ministry, we had to fundraise. During my internship and resident ministry time, we had a descent budget, but it still did not allow us to do whatever we wanted. Currently, we have a rather small budget, due to the fact that we are a newer church. So, through the years, I have learned how to do ministry with little to no money in the bank.
Now, here comes the tricky part. I hope that I have learned enough to pass it on to others who are in a similar situation. While an incredibly large budget sounds nice, the truth is that you do not need a ton of money to reach teenagers and their families for Christ. Sure, it would be nice to not have to worry about money, but the truth is that Jesus already told us that we don’t have to worry about that in His “Sermon on the Mount.” So, while I do not want to give my entire workshop thoughts right here in this blog post, I will say that it all starts with trusting God to do His part. The rest is important too, but this is the best place to begin — trust in God.
I ask that you pray for me as I prepare to speak at this workshop, and I also ask that you pray for those who will attend the conference. Pray that God does something amazing here in New England. I know He can!
Also, for any student ministers out there who are reading this, I am trying to collect a wide array of ministry budgets, as an illustration for this workshop. So, if you would like to share your budget with me, please email me, or contact me on Facebook or Twitter. I’m mainly looking for your expense budget, which basically means the amount of money your church “provides” in order to do your ministry — the stuff they don’t expect you to get back from event fees, etc. Thanks!