Working “On” vs Working “In” Your Ministry During COVID

Boss serves with the National Network of Youth Ministries and he’s been a core part of helping youth workers in his region navigate this season. With everything in youth ministry pausing or canceling right before summer, it sent us all in a frenzy of reimagining and reworking our plan. Boss shares how he’s been helping youth workers think through the best ways to do that right now.

Check out the full interview above, but here are a few key ideas that resonated from Boss’ conversation:

We intentionally have to carve out time to work “on” our ministry. 

The day-to-day execution pieces of your ministry is the work that you do in your ministry. And with all the pressures of this season, it is harder than ever to step out of the day-to-day elements of executing your ministry. But you have to actively make the choice to carve out time to step back, look at the big picture, and work on your ministry. Making that move from working “in” your ministry to working “on” your ministry gives you the space to prioritize your core values as a ministry, which can then drive what you execute in your ministry.

Attendance isn’t a helpful metric of success right now.

When we try to measure the success of our ministry during this season, we have to shift from metrics of attendance to metrics of engagement. When we look at engagement rather than attendance, it frees us up to empower our students to lead in ways like never before. We can take a step back, let go, and realize that maybe this is a time when our students have a better opportunity to lead, serve, and grow with each other.

Leadership development can’t be ignored in this season.

As we think back to some of the things that Boss shared, it resonates so deeply with our value of leadership development in students and adult leaders. That’s why created these guidebooks for groups to use alongside their mission trip:

And if you are not already connected to NNYM, don’t wait to reach out to them at