1. How are the students?
As the youth pastors, sometimes our vision is blurred on our meetings nights. We have a million things going through our head. “Do I have everything for the game?” “Do I have someone running the computer?” “Where are my notes?” “Is my zipper down?” With so much going on and trying to interact with students, we can miss what may be obvious to everyone else.
My wife gives me a brief overview on who was and wasn’t there that night. Sometimes I will think someone was there who actually wasn’t there and visa versa. She will remind me who I should follow up with and perhaps kids who I may need to follow up with if they miss next week. She will also tell me if something is going on that I should be aware of. “So and so was sitting alone in the corner and not interacting in the game.” ” So and so was on his phone the entire night zoned out.” This type of stuff is helpful when it comes to knowing how the kids are emotionally and spiritually.
2. How are the leaders?
I try to interact with each leader. I am a strong believer that happy leaders will mean happy students. If I am investing in my leaders, in turn that should mean they are investing in my students. However, I may not catch everything.
If a leader felt burnt out or over worked, they may not feel comfortable telling me. Perhaps a leader was struggling with a student. Perhaps a leader had a win with a student that I wasn’t aware of. These are the types of things I want to know to evaluate what is going on.
3. How was the game?
A little secret about me: I hate planning games. It is always the last thing I do in preparation for a Wednesday night; however, having an element of fun is crucial in my book for a good night. Sometimes I hit a home run with games. Other nights the students would have been happy with me preaching for an hour if we didn’t play a certain game. I need to know if it works. If it works, I will do it again. If it flops, it goes in the trash pile.
4. How was my message?
This is probably the most vulnerable question I ask. My pride wants to shut down everyone’s opinion on my preaching; after all, they didn’t go to school to learn how to preach, now did they? Even so, my goal is to contextualize my preaching to students and leaders.
What seems like I am killing it when I prep may end up going over the heads of students. Also, what seems to be a total embarrassment on the stage can lead to a revival in my ministry. I trust the Holy Spirit’s work in my preaching. However, if there are clear things I can do better that my leaders can let me know about. I am all ears!
5. Where is my Gatorade?
If you are not sweating while you are preaching, you are not preaching. Restore your electrolytes!
What questions do you ask after every youth meeting? How do you determine a win after a youth service?