LDS Young Men

How I will judge your YM program

Posted in Youth Leaders by ldsym on February 19, 2009

judgement-dayI was thinking about this a lot lately,  how to judge your Young  Men’s Program, or to get even more raw,  how good are you as a YM leader?

After much contemplation I settled on this: the single most important factor in judging YM leaders is how they minister to the boys.    My definition of “minister” is the amount of love you have for them along with the works you do that are motivated by that love.    I think that is how Jesus will judge YM leaders.   Fortunately, I don’t have the capacity to see into hearts, so I can’t judge that, so I need to find a different way to judge you all.

So, I started looking for a metric… a number.    Without a doubt the most important number is the percentage of  your young men who serve Missions.   On the surface that works, but I decided it wouldn’t be fair to use that number.   Frankly that number is largely dependent on the spiritual circumstance of those who are delivered to your door.   That is not to minimize the affect the YM’s program can have, but it is to say it is not the only or even necessarily the primary factor (primary factor would be home life, IMHO).

So, how about measuring the time you spend with the boys.   While that is absolutely relevant to the quality of the program, it is often not in the control of the leader.   Sometimes they just have jobs that don’t allow them to go camping once a month and a week off for Scout Camp and a week off for High Adventure.    A fair measure might be the percentage of your free time after legitimate work demands & family obligations, but I have no way to judge that.

So the measure that I came up with to judge the quality of your program is this:   How well do you plan.    Are you making it up as you go along?   Are you constantly scrambling at the last minute for Mutual Activities?   Are you teaching the boys to plan?  Do the parents know what is scheduled?  Are assignments made and followed up on?

Obviously I am just goofing around, and not really judging anyone,  but I have been thinking this through in an attempt to evaluate my own effectiveness as a YM leader.     My weakness is lack of planning, and I now set on improving that.    How are you stacking up?

7 Responses

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  1. Matt W. said, on August 8, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Planning isn’t our problem here, it’s follow through. It seems like we are always cancelling things at the last minute. very irritating.

  2. Kimberley said, on August 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    I know our YM leaders care but I have 6 kids…4 of them boys. 2 of them are in the YM program at this time. It is so hard when I can’t plan things in my family and if the youth program is unorganized, what does that teach my boys? I know there are a lot of ‘reasons’ why it could be unorganized but I can think of a lot of reasons why it CAN be organized. I try to support everyone but I was told, being a convert and all, that the YM’s program was to support the parents. I don’t feel that supported sometimes.

    • Denise said, on October 15, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      This is an important comment. Our YM leaders are doing it half right when they want the boys to be involved in making decisions, activity choices etc but then they don’t teach and guide them how to do it. They don’t offer suggestions or guidelines. It’s just go and do and report. They wonder why things don’t get done. Every week seems to be about planning and nothing happens. As a parent, I don’t know what is scheduled, neither does my son. I have spoken with the leaders even suggested they use a FB Ward YM page.

  3. Bryce L. said, on January 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Planning has made all the difference. We plan 3 months at a time. One adviser takes responsibility for each month and one boy is assigned to lead organizing an activity. I bring that document to our quorum meetings and heave each boy responsible for the next 3 activities give a status update on their activity. More importantly, our plan also includes our next planning meeting about half way through the quarter. We still have to make changes from time to time, but already this has helped free me from last minute scrambling about WHAT to do to teaching the boys in my quorum HOW to organize an activity. As the YM president, this also frees me up to focus on how the other quorums are doing.

    • Kimberley said, on January 14, 2011 at 11:35 am

      We don’t have a very “spiritual” YM President but he does love the boys. He is more of a ‘fun’ (meaning food) kinda guy and nothing meaningful usually gets planned unless I tell my son (Priest 1st Asst) that he won’t be going to mutual if they are all just fluff. I now have 3 boys in young mens…all 3 quorum levels. They have lots of “planning” meetings with only the joint activities being planned (usually by the young women). Sigh. I’m trying soooo hard but feel like I am unsupported as a parent. I guess me being a convert has given me a heightened sense of duty and purpose or something because I am always worried that we aren’t doing enough to help our kids be able to stand strong in the world and many are falling. Since most is done in our home, I am faithful that our boys won’t be those that fall (hopefully) but many are. What can a mother do? Talking to the men, including Bishop, doesn’t seem to help so I guess praying is all that is left…or taking my boys out of mutual.

      • Denise said, on October 15, 2013 at 9:37 pm

        It has nothing to do with being a convert. I am as passionate about it as you are. I pray like Alma when he prayed for his son, simply put with colloquial terminology “God you know what my circumstances are, you know the imperfections of people and programs, you want success for ….as much as me, even more so, can you make up the difference?”

      • Denise said, on October 15, 2013 at 9:38 pm

        All these years later, I wonder how you reflect on how things went?

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