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It’s that time soon.

If you set goals it is time to evaluate how you did.

 I was devastated after a 13 week series on Improving Your Serve that students continued to put themselves first in a little test that I designed. It was better to realize that there was more work to do in this area than just assume that because I did teaching that students had changed. I realized that using some kind of measurement was essential to setting goals and measuring if they were achieved. 

 One area to check up on is how  closely your students are connected to Christ. The best way to measure that is by having students report on internal and external connections to Christ. For example students can respond to a statement like “I find that when I am alone I am often talking to God in my thoughts.”

Internal Connections

The search institute developed internal assets to measure how healthy a student is compared to other students. A big factor is there motivation and their healthy habits. A student is at risk if their attitudes and outlook are negative.

When it comes to Spiritual health internal assets would be a strong sense of gratitude toward God, tguilt and condemnation are strong indications that a student needs help.

External Connections

The Search Institute discovered also that a student was at risk if important supports or external assets were not in place. A simple one like being alone for over 3 hours after school put a student at risk. Another was going out with friends often with “nothing particular to do” had an negative outcome for students.

External supports for a student’s spiritual development are equally important. Students who do not have the support of a caring family encouraging their relationship with Christ are more prone to neglect their faith. Students who attend church once a week without fail have been shown to hold Biblical values, and more Christian worldview.

How to use this Report Card

Please Download it here.

Connected to Christ Survey

Personal Response

If you are able you could have a leaders go over each students results with them to discuss where they are at in their spiritual development. Some may be in the position that although they are older and more mature their internal and external connections are weaker than they were last year.

A good response to this kind of one to one meeting with a student would be to set goals for turning things around. Frankly it is easier to work on the externals than to have a student change from the inside out. Unfortunately, for many students, if they don’t have a change of heart and a work of the Spirit inside changing the externals may be pointless.

In the book of Revelation 3 Jesus told the Church of Laodicea to make both internal and external changes to avoid correction and to receive blessing. Students who make changes inside and out will experience a greater rate of improvement.

Group Response

By compiling all the data I have been able to get a better idea of how students are growing in their faith or beginning to stray. A good hard look at the results will tell you what needs work. Here are things to consider:

 

  • If students are not engaging with the Bible in a meaningful way each day how can we work with individuals and their families to change that.
  • If family attendance patterns are one out of three Sundays how to we promote and achieve weekly attendance?
  • If students general outlook is one of guilt and condemnation how do we bring them into an awareness of forgiveness and acceptance by the Father.

Evaluate and Respond

The work that we do is so vital that we should not leave it to chance. Do we know how our students are doing or are we just hoping that our programs and events are helping the students who are invested? Using this Connected to Christ survey is just one way to get a picture of your students’ health and growth. There are many others out there as well. The important thing is doing some kind of evaluation, gaining an accurate picture, and responding with the help of the Holy Spirit.

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Ron Powell

ronpowell

Ron Powell is the Adviser to the Director of the Youth Ministry Institute at Vanguard College. He has been involved in youth ministry for over 30 years. He continues to volunteer, write, teach, and speak to parents, leaders and teens. If you would like to contact him you can email ron.powell@vanguardcollege.com