Most people prefer to skip the why questions and jump right into the how-to's. But a ministry philosophy is the key to working smart. Before we can form a workable strategy, we need to ask two questions: What do we know about the target group? What do we know about doing this ministry effectively?
Most ministers work hard. The question is: Do we also work smart?
In the marketplace, leaders are forced to work smart because the bottom line tells them if their strategies are working. But in ministry, the bottom line is less tangible. It's difficult to evaluate how well we're doing, so we tend to work hard, pray hard, and then just trust that the "bottom line" will turn out to God's liking.
Certainly we should work hard, pray diligently, and trust God. But we don't want to spin our wheels using unproductive strategies. The key is to be more specific about what we're trying to accomplish.
I was once part of a fine church youth group. The Bible was taught every week. The group served ...1