The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I've tried creating "features" in the past but I haven't had much success being faithful to them, but I'm going to try it again. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly will be a new occasional post in which I'll feature a good, a bad and an ugly from my ministry.


PRIZE WHEEL: We invested a couple hundred bucks for a decent quality spinning prize wheel. It has about 30 slots and each slot has a different prize listed. Instead of constantly buying prizes that we think kids might like (and spending way too much time and money...) we decided to buy a tub full of goofy prizes and let kids spin the wheel to see what they win. Plastic dinosaur, can of corn, rubber spatula, pair of socks etc. are all on the wheel and ready to be won. Students totally love it.


WEEKEND FOLLOW UP: Man, we just can't seem to get this one right. I really want to do a better job of following up on students who attend our weekend program, but I have an aversion to mandated check in systems. The result: really poor follow up! Because we don't take it seriously, we simply aren't following up on students the way we should. I have to figure this one out...probably just sucking it up and creating a mandatory check-in of some sort.



Had a tough meeting with a key volunteer in our ministry the other day. We mad a major decision that effected this particular volunteer significantly. While it was the right decision, his response made it clear that the process by which we made it was flawed. Flawed to the point that a significant level of trust was broken and I wanted to own our part in the process. It was one of those long, uncomfortable conversations that you hate to have but know you need to have.


Brian LaRue said...

Thanks for the post, I love the honesty and transparency it brings about something we all need to focus on...

God thanks for the blessings(Good)
God help me, give direction(Bad)
God heal me or the situation(Ugly)

Dustin Wilson said...

I really like the wheel idea. Do you have picture of it or can you be a little more detailed about it.

erik w/a "k" said...


I really appreciate your honesty in all your blogs. You help the rest of us connect better as a result. Not just the bad stuff either...the great things you are doing and doing right!


--erik w/a "k"

Nathan Cookston said...


we have a similar thing to the prize wheel because I was dealing with the same difficulties. Now what we do is I bought a Slot Machine M & M dispenser and for the students that have a birthday that week they come up and get a pull on the "Birthday Bandit". It is full of M & M but there or only 20 yellow ones for the amount of dollar store toys in a bin and 4 blue ones for the $10 starbucks gift cards. Similar to pulltabs, I do not refill the bandit until it is empty so sometimes the kids get just M & Ms and sometimes they hit the mother load. you never know. And the kids go crazy for this. OH, and shout out to Erik w/a K it was fun having lunch with you.

Jim Ellis said...

the good:

bonfires in the summer

the bad:

giving students massive ammounts of sugar before I speak

the ugly:

making leadership decisions that tell people they can't lead middle schoolers

Mike Collins said...

You reminded me that bigger youth ministry is not easier youth ministry. We've hit a few of the same snags as you mentioned in your post and I was feeling bad about it.

Our volunteers and staff have been working really hard to 'close the back door' of our ministry. We have 20 or so brand new visitors at each service, but rarely follow up well. We don't use an automated check in either...yet.

I'm still wrestling with the pros and the cons. Why don't you use one?