If I want to inspire other people to grow, I’ve got to keep making the non-glamorous choices. These are some simple ways that I encourage the people around me:

  1. We teach what we know but we really do reproduce who we are, so my biggest challenge in inspiring my team and my youth group is to keep growing myself. That means I have to keep reading. Then I talk differently, it’s not like I’m warming over the same soup. It’s because of that I motivate people differently, because fresh things are coming alive to me in fresh ideas.
  2. Another way I keep a culture of growth is by surrounding myself with key people and asking them first, “What are we doing well?” and then “How do we get better?” Never invite key leadership to make ministry better until you take time to celebrate what you did well.
  3. Identify “key targets on the wall” (in business you’d call them “critical success factors”), to help you know where you want to go. Remember, if you aim at nothing, you’ll reach nothing.
  4. A goal without specifics and a deadline that are going to tell you’ve reached it is nothing more than a daydream. Identify critical success factors so you know you’re making progress towards your goal. I think we’re afraid to do that because we don’t want to show if we don’t quite reach it, but that’s a big mistake. Lots of times I haven’t reached my goals, but I’ve made progress toward them and if I hadn’t put the “target on the wall,” I wouldn’t have made any progress.

Remember, if you just get 1% better in an area of your youth ministry each week, by the end of the year you’ll be 52% better one small non-glamorous step at a time.