New: (adjective) not existing before; made, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time.
It’s a new year! We are a couple of days into 2017 and already we’re trying some new things out. Some of us have ideas of new things we want to accomplish for this year. Others have picked up a new hobby for some added enjoyment to life. There are new intentions to eat better, exercise more, and keep in contact with those that we may not see too often.
As ministry leaders, we have the opportunity to think about new ways to impact the lives of young adults and to point them toward Jesus. Here are a few new things for you to think about as you begin a new year with new adventures.
- Invite some new people to your small group.
The beginning of a new year is always a great time to think about young adults in your community that may not be connected to a church or a small group. Find some ways that you and your group can be intentional about inviting new individuals to your group or gatherings. Plan a social gathering that will allow people in your group to feel free to invite friends that may not be connected to a church or even in a relationship with Jesus. The key is being intentional and not simply saying it’s something that we “should” do!
- Find a new opportunity for your group to serve together.
Young adults want to make a difference with their lives and want to be involved in ways to help others. As a young adult ministry leader, do the legwork to find an organization that your group can get behind and serve. There are nursing homes that would love to have young adults visit their residents, schools that need work projects finished, and youth organizations that are looking for volunteer big brothers and big sisters. Find a local non-profit that your group can give some significant time to over the next year.
- Think of some new ways to challenge young adults in their study of scripture.
For many of us, we tend to rely upon “the way we’ve always done it” when it comes to the way we teach and what we teach. Challenge your young adults in your group and yourself by taking your group into some new ways of studying scripture. If you’ve always been a lecture-style teacher, take some opportunities to lead using more discussion. Find a new curriculum or Bible study. Obviously, there are aspects of each of us that we have been gifted in and we don’t need to try to be something that we are not, but don’t be afraid to try some new things.
- Always be thinking about starting a new group.
Discipleship should always be about multiplication. As a ministry leader, think about ways that a new group could be birthed out of your current small group(s). Who are the ones in your current group(s) that could lead another group? Is there a need for a small group on another night or setting? Let’s never be content with what we have, but always think about ways to reach, equip, and mobilize young adults for the Gospel.
May we always remember that we are NEW creations in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, HCSB)
A new year brings exciting new opportunities. How are you going to take seriously the new opportunities in front of you? What other suggestions would you have?
Mark Whitt is the Collegiate and Young Adult Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. Before joining Lifeway, he spent many years on the campus of Murray State University as a campus minister. Connect with Mark via Twitter.