Youth Ministry 101

Are you just beginning your position as Youth Leader? Are you wondering where you went wrong or what you can do to be more successful? If so, then this page might be for you!

From Rev. Jacqui Foxall’s workshop at Canada Youth 2018.

Challenges Facing Youth Leaders & Congregations
Some of the key challenges facing youth leaders and churches today:

    • We end to entertain youth more than anything else;
    • We might confirm youth but 48% of those confirmed leave the church
    • Youth leaders tend to burn out. The average length of time they stay in a church is 18 months!
    • Congregations need to remember that youth ministry is the church’s ministry, not just the youth leader’s!
    • Youth ministry is not an event, but a process. We want people to be involved in the life off the church throughout their lives.

Click here for more information and samples handouts.

Words of Advice
Congregations don’t want their youth leaders to burn out, but often they do expect their youth leaders to do everything on their own. What can you do to avoid burnout?

    • Insist that your congregation support and train you. Ask for training and mentors.
    • Change your focus from programs to relationships.
    • Develop web of relationships.
    • Make the curriculum fit with your values – don’t try to fit your values into your curriculum.

Remember: You are doing God’s work. God wants to support you in the ministry he has given you. Remember to pray. Turn to God for help.

Developing a System to Support Youth Ministry
Any system supporting youth ministry requires two basic components: architecture and atmosphere.

Imagine that building your youth group is like building a home.

You know what kind of home you want to build. You have developed your architectural plans and permits, and are ready to actually build it. After it’s built, then you need to think about decorating it.

The Blue Print
First, you start with a blueprint or map of where you are planning to go. It includes (1) a Vision/Mission Statement; (2) a 3-year goal; (3) a clear statement of values; and (4) Control documents (which every youth leader should have.

The Control Documents are your youth directory, a 12-month planning calendar, and organization chart and job description for each volunteer in your group, and a list of your recruiting needs.

Concrete & Other Building Blocks
You know what you would like to build – but do you know what the local “geography” is? How well do you know your youth? and How well do you know your own values – or theirs?

Wallpaper & Decorations
Have you ever tried to decorate something that hasn’t been built yet? Don’t try for the fancy stuff of youth ministry – including choosing your curriculum – until you know your basic structure of what you are trying to build, what tools you have, and who your youth are!