Blueprint Truths: Establishing a Stronger Ministry to the Next Generation
As we strive for success in all areas of life and ministry, we must not neglect taking at least one hour a month to evaluate our organization, our staff, and the programs and practices we deploy.

Blueprint Truths: Establishing a Stronger Ministry to the Next Generation

by Lenny La Guardia
1/19/17 Ministry and Outreach

As we strive for success in all areas of life and ministry, we must not neglect taking at least one hour a month to evaluate our organization, our staff, and the programs and practices we deploy. In taking time to evaluate these vital areas, we are giving the Holy Spirit permission to show us the direction God may want us to pursue in the days and seasons ahead.

Let’s face it, it’s easy to fall victim to the status quo or the mundane—perhaps we don’t want to “rock the boat.” Or we get just flat-out busy with family, life pressures, and distractions.

It helps to remember some simple foundational principles when evaluating the health and success of your ministry or organization. Be encouraged to let the Holy Spirit speak to you about these areas. Evaluating in partnership with the Holy Spirit—and mindful of His presence—is a wonderful experience.

  1. Be eager to maintain unity and community. Make sure you are spending time with your key leaders. Remember, unity does not mean everyone must agree—or will agree! Leadership structures must allow room for individuals to spend time with each other to appreciate the diversity God has brought together. Your goal is not to develop a soloist mentality, but one that soars together like a symphony.
  2. Maintain a culture that allows your staff the freedom to fail. Remember to assist your team with maintaining value and respect for each other’s ideas. Don’t push your ideas onto your team or tell them what you think should happen. Present your ideas so that your staff can own them and find the way forward together. Allow for flexibility.
  3. Keep things simple. But remember, simple is not the same as easy. We should not let things get so complicated that it causes us to spend more time maintaining the organization than serving the people that the organization was created to serve. Remember, you are a leader, and leaders lead people as well as administration. Put people before programs. If you want to keep things simple, ask yourself some practical questions: What are the obvious changes you desire to see in the program you lead? Who are the key people influencing that program—both positively and negatively?
  4. Keep mission, values, and priorities front and center. Be sure to keep the mission, values, and priorities of the ministry and church in front of you and those you lead at all times. This is a crucial aspect of leading programs and people. Key points to remember: Mission governs our life (why we exist). Values govern our heart (how we communicate). Priorities govern our time (how we relate).

For over 30 years, I’ve been in extensive dialog with children’s and youth leaders from all over the world about the issues of programs and staff. Many times, I have encountered leaders who are a little bitter, angry, or disillusioned, because they feel that their pastors or supervisors do not support them and their programs.

About 70 percent of the time, I have concluded, after consulting with these leaders, that the problem does not lie with their pastors or supervisors. Most of the time, frustrations stem from a lack of connection between programs and the corporate direction of the church or organization.

As leaders, we should aim to establish our programs based on the corporate mission of the church or organization we serve. When a leader is unclear about the mission of a church or organization, it is important that he or she take the steps necessary to gain this information. Because values and priorities must be based on mission. And establishing the right priorities for a ministry staff and organization is vital, because our time is valuable, and God desires us to be good stewards of the time we have each week to actually lead.

Can you give one hour this month to evaluating your ministry and work?

Like what you just read? Want more from Lenny La Guardia? Then we recommend Prayer: A Guide for Leaders, Parents, and Teachers, to help you equip young people to live a lifetime of enjoyable prayer. The curriculum includes lessons on God’s goodness and His glad heart, relating to the Lord, and inviting children into joyful prayer. Learn more »
Prayer: A Guide for Leaders, Parents, and Teachers

Lenny La Guardia


  • Vice President of Ministries, IHOPKC
  • Executive Director, Children's Equipping Center, IHOPKC

For over three decades, Lenny and Tracy La Guardia have devoted their lives locally and internationally to equipping, empowering, and mobilizing young people, parents, and leaders with biblical truths and relevant strategies for ministering to children and youth today. Lenny and Tracy are the executive directors of the Children’s Equipping Center (CEC) at the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, where they lead a missionary staff that equips children from all over the world. Currently, the CEC provides over 130 hours a week of children’s services. Lenny also serves as the senior vice president of IHOPKC’s Ministries and Justice Divisions, giving oversight to vital ministries that mobilize the values and priorities of the IHOPKC Missions Base in Kansas City and abroad. Lenny started the Grandview, Missouri, Police Chaplains in 2007 and currently serves as a police chaplain. Lenny and Tracy have been married for 38 years and have five children: Leonard, Leatha, Andrea, Adrienne, and Shontavion.

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