In a season where ministry leaders across Atlantic Canada are asking “how do I do this” I am encouraged by the innovation and courage that people are demonstrating in their next generation ministries.
One helpful tool to help with the process of innovation is an approach called The Theory of Change. This concept is grounded in how organizations prepare for, influence, or encourage change within their organization.
Theory of Change is an intentional process outlined to help shift and guide our program design and efforts to accomplish a new outcome. It is an intentional way to help identify the shifts that may have to happen in ourselves, our leaders, and our programs in order to accomplish the outcomes we are hoping for.
Theory of change helps us ask the questions about the usefulness of what we are doing, through tracking actions and outcomes. The CBACyf team is constantly asking these questions of our events and more largely about the role and function of our team.
In this season of unknown, many of us have been given the green light to be creative, to be innovative, and to think ‘outside’ the box. This is good, as youth culture is constantly changing we need to be changing also. This can be uncomfortable and overwhelming when we feel ourselves dipping into feelings of anxiety or inadequacy. This is where strategies, team, and community can support us. Theory of change is a tool which can help give us a process and a structure to approach the changes that we are hoping to see in our ministry and to make it ‘bite’ size.
There are lots of resources about this. The link below is a great toolkit to help in this process. Page 19 is a great example of how to create an outcome chain about what we are doing and how it could work. Appendix A then gives more questions and processes for developing a theory of change.
If you are struggling to identify ways to facilitate change or accomplish what you are hoping for, then please reach out to our CBACyf team. We would love to work with you and support you to accomplish what God is inviting you into. We would also encourage you to reach out to local or regional next generation leaders.