SWOT Analysis of Bethany Student Ministries

On Sunday, February 23, 2020, I had the privilege of meeting with my Student Ministries Team for an afternoon of internal auditing of the ministry, analysis and vision and goal setting. There were 15 leaders in attendance covering the areas of our grade 6-7 ministry (iConnect), as well as our grade 8-12 ministry (Youth). We broke into groups to do the SWOT analysis, each group taking one area to brainstorm on. Then we met as a large group to hear each area presented and had a chance to offer feedback on each group's findings. The result is the SWOT analysis that follows.

Strengths

  • Enough Committed Leaders
  • Committed Youth Band (made of student ministry members)
  • Committed core group of kids that come
  • A great facility and lots of space
  • Lots of the leaders are young and the students can identify with them and mesh well with them.
  • Lots of opportunities to serve in church
  • Well funded
  • Good location for diverse activities
  • Our annual denominational May Camp (held on May long weekend - definitely a highlight that all the students want to attend).
  • Our annual Clue game (a life-sized, church-wide version of the Clue game with different themes each year, held as a large outreach event)
  • Strong connection with other churches (we are part of our city's network of youth groups called 604 Network and all meet several times a year. Also, May Camp is a joint effort of our provincial denominational youth groups). Students get a chance to see the larger Church at work.
  • Bob - Bob is our 78-year-old youth leader who has served in Youth Ministry forever. The students love him and he rarely misses a week, or a school play, or a soccer game.

Weaknesses

  • Lack of programming/spiritual engagement on Sunday mornings (mostly iConnect) - this has been a recent development as of September 2019.
  • No Adult programming (by that they mean Sunday School or something equivalent before the main service), therefore parents don't bring their kids to small groups.
  • Lack of motivation to attend (eg, getting up early, driving far, few peers to coneect with, etc).
  • Friendship groups already established, therefore new kids don't feel welcome.
  • Same kids attend - very little growth.
  • Attendance drop from the Children's Ministry stage to iConnect. Somewhere we aren't bridging the gap.

Opportunities

  • Community events in the area that Bethany Student Ministries could join in or help out (eg. Offer free hot chocolate to those who come out on Halloween for the fireworks at the community park; help out at the summer community fair, etc). The idea being that we go to them and serve instead of just inviting them to come join us in what we are already doing.
  • Youth Drop-In at the church gym after school.
  • Promote fun eventsd at schools to draw kids in using posters, word of mouth, etc.
  • Putting on meals (at church/school) to see the youth serve.
  • Be a crossing guard at our corner on Halloween, when the whole community is out at night.

Threats

  • Boomers - resistant to rapidly changing youth culture. Unwillingness to let go.
  • Finances - Church is house rich/cash poor in the most expensive city in North America - Most youth in the church too young to be at business meetings and have no say.
  • Church Leadership - No representation or input from young adults/youth demographic - feeling of no voice.