One of the most valuable, but often neglected, activities we can do as a Young Life team is to regularly evaluate and celebrate.
It's tempting to measure success with numbers. It's tempting to feel good about the year if you’ve had had big clubs and an epic camp sign-up. It's tempting to feel bad about the semester if Campaigners never picked up momentum. It's tempting to think wider is better than deeper.
Tempting and misleading. In the Psalms, we see the psalmists consistently reminding their souls of God's truth. We must do the same.
Before we evaluate and celebrate, let's remember the One who gives and takes away. If we trust God to be in control... when things go well, He gets the glory. And when our ministry seems to languish, we can say with open hands, "Sovereign God, in your timing, your will be done."
Below are some questions to help your team evaluate and celebrate the past year.
- What motivated you to keep going this year when things got hard?
- What was something you experienced that was frustrating or disappointing?
- What God-given gifts were you excited to use this year as you served in YL?
- What gifts do you wish you would've developed?
- What did the Lord teach you this year? How did you grow in your relationship with Him?
- Where did Jesus surprise, interrupt, shake you up or delight you this year?
- In addition to your role as a leader, what helped you grow in your faith?
- Tell us a story that happened this year with one of your middle or high school friends.
- Share contact work highlights. What worked well? What would you like to improve?
- What new kids did you meet this semester?
- What kids did you see grasp the Gospel for the first time?
- What kids are heavy on your heart right now?
- Share the highlights you remember from club this year.
- What worked well at club this year? What should we keep doing next year?
- What should we do differently? What is one way to improve club in the fall?
- Were kids given ownership of Club?
- How could we 'spread the word' about club better starting in August?
- What went well with your club talks?
- What is one way you can grow in becoming a better communicator of the Gospel?
- As far as you were able, did you welcome new kids at club?
- Did we remember names well?
- Did we meet parents before and after club?
- Did we leave the club room cleaned up, better than we found it?
- Share a highlight or two from Campaigners this year.
- How could Campaigners improve for next fall?
- Who are 3 of your closest high school friends and how have you seen them grow?
- What kids are you most excited about going deeper with next year?
- Were kids given ownership of Campaigners this year? Did you position kids to lead?
- How have you felt about summer “camp sell“?
- What have we done well as a team to get kids signed up?
- What could we do differently next year to help get kids to camp?
- What is your contact work plan for the summer?
- If you will be out of town, how will you stay in touch with kids?
- What are you looking forward to this summer?
- What are you dreading?
- Where do you sense God leading you this summer? Where are you excited to see God at work in your life this summer?
- Share a time when you watched a teammate demonstrate Jesus' love.
- If our team could improve on one aspect of ministry next year, what would it be?
- What one thing would you like to improve on in your personal ministry next year?
- What is one thing we can be accountable for…to help you grow personally and in your ministry? How can we as a team support you?
- What sacrifices did you make this year to do YL? Were those wise sacrifices to make?
- (If the team leader is leading this time...) What is something I as team leader did well?
- What is something I as team leader can improve on in the fall?
- How do you feel about our team dynamics? Did we love each other well? Pray for one another consistently? Serve and help one another? How can we grow in that next year?
- Make a list of potential leaders to be praying for to join our team.
You may also want to refer to the Young Life 'Back to the Basics' Inventory.
Now, go out and celebrate! Remember that He who began a good work in you and your ministry, promises to continue and complete it.