How to Lead a Successful Youth Ministry

Youth Ministries are often the pillar of any Christian church's continuity. If you can't set teenage hearts on fire with love of God, they may go on to lead less fulfilling lives (or worse, be tempted into sinful ways). This being a difficult time in most teenagers' lives, it is more important than ever to get a good youth ministry program started. See more information on how after the jump. It is important to raise youth that are absolutely sold out to God. Youth who are incredibly unstoppable in every aspect of life.


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    Find a good meeting location. Many churches already have a great hall for their youth group, but if not find some location where everyone will feel comfortable. A large room, a park in good weather, or the beach in the summer are great places for teenagers to connect.
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    Get the word out. Word of mouth works great, so encourage frequent members to talk to their friends about the youth group. Place an announcement in the church newsletter and Sunday bulletin. If the church has a website, add a link for youth ministry information. Don't forget Facebook and Twitter, as these are very popular with youth.
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    Break the ice. For a lot of these kids, the youth group will evolve into their greatest friends base, and that's a wonderful thing- if you can get it to happen. Play some get-to-know-you games, encourage group discussion and mingling. Get the teens out of their pre-set cliques. Make sure there are no teens left out or uncomfortable.
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    Let the youth lead. The youth know what the youth want. Often, it's best to pick 11th or 12th graders to form a "core" or "leadership" team to plan events and the like. At this age, they'll have developed maturity, planning skills, and hopefully a sincere love of God.
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    Sing praise to the Lord. Youth love music, and if you can find the right kind of music, even the quiet type will open up eventually. Set a mood, and use song as prayer. Those who aren't willing to sing under most circumstances tend to find themselves singing with joy when the Holy Spirit acts through them.
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    If you're a youth, push to effect these changes. Many youth groups are stagnant because the youth just don't care. Love of God is contagious, so let yours show for the benefit of those around you.
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    Sign up for or plan your own retreats. Away from the hustle of routine life, retreats can truly cause amazing spiritual conversions, and encourage youth to attend the regular meetings as well.
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    Pray for the youth of Christianity daily. There is perhaps no more important thing to do for your youth ministry than this.


  • Don't allow cliques to develop.
  • Be aware that some youth may not have money to participate in activities like pizza and a movie, or going to a theme park. Try to establish a fund for such contingencies.
  • Bible study isn't a lot of teenagers' cup of tea, but if you can approach it right, you'll have your youth group enjoying themselves while learning the Word of God. Maybe pick a familiar coffee shop where the teenagers will feel comfortable for the purpose.
  • Know your audience and plan lessons accordingly; it's easy to talk over their heads, which leads to kids just tuning you out and disliking youth church/group.
  • Any disciplinary problems should be dealt with immediately.
  • Take note of the shy ones and make sure they feel welcome.
  • Don't be afraid to talk about God and religion, even if that's not what a lot of the teenagers really want to talk about. Take the issue head-on, pray, sing, set a mood where the teenagers will be prodded toward falling in love with God.
  • Encourage the friend base to grow. Friends made at church are generally friends who will not lead you astray.
  • Understand what youngsters like so that you can plan your Bible study in the same line.
  • Be accessible without being too indulging.


  • Have fun, but remember why you're there. Youth Groups are designed to bring God's teenagers closer to Him. Social time is excellent, and necessary, but don't overdo it to the point where the meetings may as well have taken place at the mall down the street.

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Categories: Church Management and Maintenance