youth ministry, youth worker, student ministry

Thoughts on Youth Ministry

By Doug Franklin March 25, 2010

Leading a youth ministry is tough; caring for students, building a team and resources for the needs of families requires strong leadership.
I have been feeling the need to share with you what I believe leading youth ministry is all about. This is not a one-way conversation; I would love your feedback and thoughts. I am writing this because more than ever we need to focus and make sure our ministries are built on truth and authenticity.

What I believe about youth ministry:

1. Youth ministry is the ministry of students to their world
Church paradigms must change; churches with ministries to students must transform and become student-led ministries to their world.

2. Youth workers are leaders
God has called us to youth ministry and placed us in his church. He has also given us everything we need to finish his mission in that church. I believe each youth worker can have confidence that God is by his or her side. With that confidence we should lead students, adult volunteers, parents and church leaders in the completion of God’s work.

3. Adult volunteers are key to youth ministry
The size of a youth ministry is determined by the number of adults that in significant spiritual relationship with students. Butts in seats don’t matter, relationships do. I believe we must spend significant amounts of time and resources equipping and training our adult volunteers.

4. Parents are the primary faith influencers in students’ lives
I believe parents are to take the lead role in the students’ spiritual growth. The youth worker is to come along side the parents to help them and provide resources to assist them in students’ growth. If students don’t have parents who are Christ followers (Or parents who don’t care) then the youth worker takes the lead.

5. Students can lead now
If we continue to treat students like participants they will continue to leave the church after high school and not return. If we allow them to lead they will become owners and will see how their giftedness benefits the body and brings joy to their lives. Students are not the future; they can lead now.

Like I said above, I would love to hear you comments on these ideas. Please feel free to share your views and ideas. Let’s return to thinking intentionally about the power that youth ministry holds.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More