On a recent trip to Half Price Books (one of my favorite stores), I picked up a copy of Zach Hunter’s Be the Change, which has been on my list of books to read for ages now (never mind the fact that the list is quickly approaching never-going-to-be-finished-in-my-lifetime status already; the bottom shelf of my bookshelf is filled with books I have bought but not yet read. I know; it’s a problem, and I need help). In the chapter on Community, Zach writes about a group known as the Clapham Sect, a diverse group of people that worked to end the slave trade in England (among other things). One paragraph jumped out at me this morning while I was reading…

That’s often how things get done–a group of friends with different talents and a common goal, working together to accomplish something none of them could do alone.

That got me thinking; isn’t that what youth ministry really is? A group of people from diverse backgrounds, all with different strengths and weaknesses, coming together in community to work toward a common goal. And I don’t think I need to tell you that working together with people who aren’t like you isn’t always easy; in fact, it can be downright hard. I’ve written about that previously on this blog. But it’s important to build community with those that you are engaged in ministry with, and to be able to be friends with them. Don’t get me wrong; meetings are good and important, and are great times for equipping and building your team. But, be sure to take some time outside regular meetings, your weekly youth ministry, and even youth ministry events (where your focus is on your students) to really build community with one another. Some of my greatest memories with the youth ministry team that I’m a part of are the times we’ve gotten together with no agenda in mind, or when we simply allowed life and community to happen. Those times have allowed me to build real relationships with the people I am engaged in ministry with, and it helps all of us minster to students more effectively. It’s also helpful that we can “do life” together, and be there to help one another in times of need. Strong relationships will strengthen your ministry.

Bottom line: don’t just do ministry together. Do life together.