Before I get into my topic of discussion today, I want to throw a shout out to my friend Rick Adams. He’s started a blog last week and got the second step done, he wrote a second article. Check him out at Reflections in the 21st Century. Worth the read for sure; he even gets a little theological, which, if you know me, I like.
For some reason I thought that it would be a good idea to write a mission statement for the youth group at Azle Christian today. The actual reason that I got the idea is because I had to write a paper this week and one of the things I discussed was purpose statements. My youth group doesn’t have one, we need something like one. A purpose statement and mission statement are pretty synonymous with each other. So I set out to do research on mission statements.
Before I found the blogs about what mission statements were like for youth groups, I looked at the surrounding DoC church’s for some inspiration. I did this because the blogs are mostly run by people more conservative than my church is, and I wanted to look at churches that were similar to mine. What I found was that, at least on their websites, there were no mission statements to be found. While I can’t say much about this because my group doesn’t have one either, I do think that we need more of a presence.
After that quick search, which also had me text a friend because her website needed to be updated, I went to the blogs. I did an awesome Google search of “youth group mission statements,” and turned up a blog that I have visited before. The woman who runs it, a European, laid out some reasons for having a mission statement: it sets goals, gives the group focus, it makes it possible to evaluate, it creates clarity, it helps you decide what to or not to do. I read the next article intuitively titled, “Creating a mission statement.” What I came away with was that it was going to take longer than just one afternoon!
So I thinking about questions that will help me center the mission statement. I’m going to ask various people within ACC: youth, parents, elders, board members, etc. these questions: Why do we have a youth program? What do we want to accomplish, change, get done, etc.? What are our core values? What is important to us? These questions will help me and my youth sponsors come up with our mission statement. Hopefully this mission statement will state our purpose and involve all four of the approaches to education: religious instruction (the actual teaching of the Bible); socialization (the teaching to be apart of the community); a process of liberation (teaching to be the source of positive change in the world); and personal development (focusing on the individual growth of the person). If we can involve all four of these, I think we’ll be doing a fantastic job. Time will only tell though.
In other news, one of my favorite bands released a new album yesterday. Mumford and Sons released Babel. I am currently listening to it for the first time today, but probably when you read this I’ve already been done for awhile though. Here is a preview with their first single off the album.