The Long Haul–Part I…………………..Tom Schwolert

I sometimes get tired of clichés but there is one that my dad taught me and he probably said it every time we went in the backyard to play catch with the baseball.  It is one we have all heard many times.  “Keep your eye on the ball!” he would say.  Baseball was my favorite sport growing up and that one principal applied in almost every situation.  It is great advice.  The Exemplary Youth Ministry study helps us “keep our eye on the ball.”  The nine outcomes help us to constantly look at where we are going and what we are to be about.  One finding in the study was that these exemplary congregations remained very committed to youth ministry over the long haul.  There were often committed staff and leadership who remained over many years.  They “stayed the course” by “keeping their eye on the ball.”  They understood that ministry with youth is about much more than seeing how many youth they can get to show up to their numerous events.  They knew that youth faith development was the desired outcome and that it takes time, perseverance and focus.  It’s easy to lose focus in youth ministry.  I can’t tell you how many times I got hit in the face because I took my eye off the ball.  So slow down, take some time to focus and “keep your eye on the ball.”

Tom Schwolert is Director of Youth & Family Ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Flower Mound, TX.  He has been doing full time youth ministry for 22 years and is the author of “Full Circle: Triple A Training.”

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    • Cindy Wiste
    • March 2nd, 2010

    Thanks Tom, you are wise as always!

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