It’s football season. I know this has nothing to do with Youth Band but bear with me it will make sense I promise. I really love High School and NCAA football. I’m not a big fan of the NFL, or other professional sports for that matter. I don’t dislike them I just don’t follow any teams. There is too much money involved and to be honest they are just too good. It is less likely to have the underdog win. Of course, that means if I pick a team that is doing well and stick with them I’ll be rewarded by seeing them win a lot.
College football is different. The underdog win is a huge part of college football. That is why they make so many movies about it. That is why we have such memorable events and the “band on the field” incident. These things are more unique to high school and college football because of the change up schedule. In pro leagues you can build a team and as long as you can afford to pay them and keep them happy and healthy you don’t have to really worry about the team leaving. Sure you need to recruit so your team is always getting better, but you star players can often carry a mediocre team for years. In college and high school you only get 4 years of play from a given player. The typical change over schedule means that you will essentially have a new team every 2-3 years as significant portions of your team graduate. This means training freshmen to become your next leader on the field and ensuring that all positions will have experience players by not always relying on your star players. You have to be planning next year this year. That makes things much more interesting and it makes great players shine all the more brightly.
I hope you’ve caught how this applies to Youth Band. It is pretty simple. Youth graduate and move on. A Youth Pastor has to understand this and always be investing in the next generation. I inherited a situation where this didn’t happen. Two YPs ago did a good job of preparing leaders in the younger kids and stretching them so they would be ready when the older kids moved on. The last YP inherited a great group with an awesome Youth Band and lots of active Youth. He let it ride for 2.5 years and over that time all the Youth that were in leadership and in the band graduated and moved on. The last of them will be graduating this year and I’m scrambling to try and get all the empty positions filled as well as the positions that will be emptied soon. I’m in it for the long haul so I’m trying to get things into place so this won’t happen again. Planning for the future is a must with Youth groups and this is more than just planning next year’s events.