Continuing from our conversation last time, there is more Spring Cleaning we can do...but this is a little harder. Its really important to evaluate everything we do in Youth and Young Adult Ministry. If we don't evaluate, its very easy for our ministry to become stale and lifeless. We'll start with some resources on evaluating programs, then the harder one of evaluating staff/volunteers.
Program Evaluation While Relationship is absolutely the most important part of working with youth and young adults, the programs of our ministries are one of the key tools for building those relationships, so it is vital to consistently be looking at how the programs our team puts together can be better. We have to be careful of Sacred Cows...those programs or events that are always on the calendar just because they have always been done. Or even within a program, there can be some parts of it that could be done better, but people are reluctant simply because it is how they had their first experience. We need to be constantly looking at the needs of the students that we have now. One of the primary ways to start is to give a fresh read of Renewing the Vision from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Below are a few more resources you can use to ask the right questions about your ministries and how your team can make it even more relevant and transformative for your students.
Personnel Evaluation In addition to reviewing your programs, it is even more important to take a look at your team. Ninety percent of the time, this does not involve asking someone to step down from being involved in the ministry, but its essential for the safety and well-being of our students that this option is on the table as you evaluate. Most of the time, this is a great opportunity to meet with your staff and/or volunteers and see how they are doing, both in ministry and in life; check in with what ideas they have in a more personal setting verses a formal meeting, and to thank them for what they have done so far...so if possible, its a wonderful time to take them for coffee or something. That being said, it is also a time to offer thoughts on how they can bring their ministry efforts to the next level. Overall, make this a regular opportunity to get together and encourage your team to be the best they can be.