need for community, youth ministry, student ministry

Youth Ministry Requires Community

By Doug Franklin September 3, 2013

Youth workers are in a great struggle and their best defense is community.

The struggle comes from the mindset of churches that youth workers are not part of the real church. Many church leaders and parents think youth ministry is run by kids for kids. They don’t mentor or train youth workers but they demand a high level of communication and success from the youth leader. This is a double standard that leaves youth workers confused, feeling isolated and alone.

The best defense against this is developing a community of youth workers who face the same struggles and isolation. A group of faithful youth workers can break the feeling of isolation and can support each other as they learn and grow. A community can also be a great encouragement when difficult times come, and they will.

If you’re a youth worker who doesn’t need this kind of community, fine, I can understand that but that doesn’t mean someone doesn’t need you. Being in community doesn’t have to be about you, you could be there for others.

Community does have pitfalls. I have seen lots of groups of youth workers that get together just to complain. Resist this, negative based communities never help anyone.


5 real advantages to being in a youth worker community:

1. Unity strengthens the community of Christ

2. Vulnerability creates relationships

3. Asking for help breeds authenticity

4. Team work destroys competition

5. Youth workers serving together displays maturity

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