Maybe you are okay starting by yourself, or with your spouse or another trusted partner. But every youth ministry that wants to grow needs a team. Finding volunteers to help you build the ministry is a big step—and not an easy one. Continue reading Finding Your First Youth Leaders
“It takes a village…” is a well-known saying, often referring to raising a child. But the same could be said for doing youth ministry. You can’t do effective youth ministry without the support of your church, both financially, and spiritually and practically.
Not every church ‘gets’ youth ministry though, and especially not every church member. Even church leaders don’t always understand the kind of stuff we deal with in youth ministry. So what are some ways to build up that support in your church? Continue reading How to Build Up Support in Your Church
A huge priority for a new ministry is to create a mission and a vision. That means putting into writing where you are right now and where you want to go in the near future. However, I don’t recommend working on this for the first year or so. That’s because you need time to experiment a bit first and get to know the context well enough. Continue reading Your Mission and Vision…Or Not
So, you’ve just gotten started with a new youth ministry. You’ve got a few students already and you’ve hung out a few times, maybe shared some Scripture with them, or played a game or two.
A rookie mistake you need to avoid in this phase, is to ask the first students to bring friends right away. Don’t. It’s okay if they do it out of their own initiative, but don’t ask them just yet. Continue reading The Rookie Mistake You Need to Avoid
Most of the time when you build a youth ministry from scratch, you already have a few students. Maybe four or five, but still. They’re there. They are your starting point. Engaging your first students is crucial to the success of your ministry. Continue reading Engaging Your First Students
Aside from making sure your own connection with God is strong, the most important thing you need is prayer support. What you need are some prayer warriors who will petition the King of Kings for the new ministry. So how do you find these? Continue reading Finding Prayer Support for Your Youth Ministry
Starting any kind of ministry is above all a spiritual activity, which means the spiritual aspects are way more important than the practical ones. Yet many of us youth leaders are ‘doers’, so we want to dig in right away and get something done. But if we skip the spiritual part and focus immediately on the practical part, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. Continue reading Preparing for Ministry Spiritually
Let’s start this series on Building a Youth Ministry from Scratch at the very beginning. You have the idea, the calling, the urge or however you want to describe it to start a youth group or revitalize something that’s there but barely alive. Where do you start after that first idea?
There are two things you need to start with: personal prayer and finding facts. Continue reading Starting a Youth Ministry: First Steps
I’m excited about this new blog series we’ll be starting today: Building a Youth Ministry from Scratch. Recently, I had quite a few people contact me for advice on how to build a youth ministry from the ground up. I figured more people could benefit from my advice if I started blogging about this, so here we go.
Before we dig in, I want to make a few things clear. This series is not just aimed at those doing ministry in a western (Read: American) context, on the contrary. I’ve gotten many questions about starting or revitalizing a youth ministry from other parts of the world as well, for instance from South Africa, The Philippines, and India. So I will try to make my advice as broad as possible and not just focus on issues that are important to the church in North America or Europe. Continue reading Building a Youth Ministry from Scratch
One of my readers asked my advice on this situation: he’s a youth leader in a church with a struggling youth ministry. The main reason for the dwindling numbers is a moral failure by the previous youth pastor that led to divisions in the youth group. This new leader wants to revive the youth ministry, but how do you inspire both leaders and youth after a disastrous moral failure by a predecessor?
Obviously, this is a situation no one wants to find him or herself in. The sad reality is that youth pastors fail at times though and that someone has to pick up the pieces. So first of all, I want to applaud this new youth leaders for having the courage and the conviction to step up. It’s far easier to walk away in circumstances like this, so thank you for obeying God’s calling and leading in the midst of this. Continue reading Reviving a Ministry After Moral Failure