Youth work evaluation

How do you see if a youth ministry is “Healthy?” I guess there’d be a hundred different answers starting from the classics,
“a whole evening without someone setting off the fire alarms!” or
“being able to go on a night hike without losing anyone!”
then working onwards and upwards.
Evalu8 is now on the market (£11.70 seems quite reasonable to me) as a self assesment tool, I still need to run some scenarios through it to be able to comment effectively. But what generally are we looking for?
The seven marks of a healthy church (Jerry Lepine) are given as:
1. A Life-Giving Spirituality
2. Engagement in God’s Mission
3. Building up the Christian Community
4. Expectation of New Christians
5. Faith development of Children and Young People
6. Leadership that enables Lay Ministry and Witness
7. An openness to Change

This seems a pretty good discussion starting point for marks of a healthy youth ministry. I reckon there could be a massive variety of answers but the important thing is that we do evaluate beyond “do at least some young people turn up?” what would your criteria be?

3 Replies to “Youth work evaluation”

  1. what does ‘expectation of new christians’ mean?
    i think i’d agree with all of the other points (maybe 4 if i knew what it meant), but i’d also have discipleship (building on lay ministry and witness) and something about not turning into stereotypical anglicans when we grow up!!
    seriously – i mean keeping the passion, openness and general life to the max attitude that the adult church seems to lack at the moment. Maybe (is this naive?) when this generation of young christians grows up they will move with the times (having grown up in a changing world) and there will no longer be the rift between young people and adults in the church? is a sucessful youth ministry one that completes the mobius strip (remeber Ester’s talk) of a simultaneously inward and outward looking church?
    Physically health is easy as you know what healthy is and therefore can spot unhealthy. a youth group healthcheck would have to start with the ideal state and see where you are in comparison. I think you have to define health before you can start deciding if something is healthy. Things like inclusive, non-hypocitical, real, fun, bible based, discipling, helpful etc

  2. KT,
    Thanks for the comments, It’s good to get the thoughts of people who were in a youth group relatively recently.
    (btw no. 4 relates to expecting that people will be coming to discover and own faith …. I’ve now put a link up to the full document)
    Hey it would be fun, if a little scary, to have your description of a “stereotypical anglican!”

  3. Hmmm, stereotypical anglican. This is going to offend someone I’m sure. I think the idea of becoming a stereotypical anglican is scary to me because the idea is just so dull – i don’t mean bad haircuts/glasses/clothes etc and singing dull/cringworthy songs, but people being stuck in their ways, going through the motions but having done them so many times that the meaning is lost, and being closed to change.
    I don’t think I know what I mean by stereotypical anglican, but I know what I don’t want to be – maybe that shows what I think about adults in the church.
    Having a paddy because to the young people ‘Nix’ is a shortening of Nicolas rather than the latin for nothing (because young people don’t do latin and words evolve), still singing the most boring tune to the Hosannah, and wanting things to be the same as when I was young are all things that I don’t want to do when I am older. I want to embrace the fact that the world changes, and that my religion may change from what I grew up with, but that my faith is the same and the same as that of the young people. That maybe I can learn alot from the passion that young people have for Jesus, and that they can show me new ways of exploring my faith.
    I want to have a mature but childlike faith – still in awe of God and still in wonder of everything. So many adults are disenchanted with the world and I don’t want to grow up to be disenchanted.

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