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How to Build Up Support in Your Church

“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

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Your Mission and Vision…Or Not

[This is the sixth post in a series on Creating a Youth Ministry from Scratch]

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

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The Rookie Mistake You Need to Avoid

[This is the fifth post in our series on Building a Youth Ministry from Scratch]

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

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Finding Prayer Support for Your Youth Ministry

[This is the third post in our series on Building a Youth Ministry from Scratch]

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

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Preparing for Ministry Spiritually

[This is the second post in our series on Building a Youth Ministry from Scratch]

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

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Starting a Youth Ministry: First Steps

[This is the first post in our series on Building a Youth Ministry from Scratch]

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

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Building a Youth Ministry from Scratch

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

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Reviving a Ministry After Moral Failure

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

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Are You Passing Over the Loud Students?

I never got to play any significant role in the many school plays that I was a part of when I grew up. I was also never picked for the lead roles in the Christmas plays my church organized. As a child and a teen, that was a huge disappointment to me and I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong.

You see, I have a photographic memory so I could learn lines faster than anyone. I’m not a fabulous singer, but I could carry a tune reasonably well and I have clear voice. I have a good sense of rhythm and I could act as well as any kid. So why wasn’t I picked? Continue reading Are You Passing Over the Loud Students?