Hello all, How you feelin?
It’s your boy Pastor Dre and I just wanted to stop by and give a few tips and pointers you can use when you are pioneering a Youth Ministry.
Just to give you a little background about myself. I have been working in Youth Ministry for about 26 years. I became a youth leader in 1988 and I became a youth pastor in 1991 and I have been working with young people every since then.
How to pioneer a Youth Ministry?
Wow that is a loaded question…
Even though youth ministry is one of the funnest ministries I have ever been involved in. It can be challenging at times because the ways to meet the needs among young people are constantly changing.
The challenge is to keep up with the times.
Here a few tips and pointers that I would give to anyone who is learning starting out in Youth Ministry.
When I first started in youth ministry I tried my hardest to be the cool youth pastor and wanting everybody to like me. It started off well until one day I was told “you are not cool.” It devastated me as a new youth pastor, but I learned a lot from that statement. I learned as long as I was their friend and let them do whatever they wanted I was cool, but whenever I put my foot down for my convictions, they didn’t like it. So I learned that day that I couldn’t lead a youth ministry trying to be their friend, I needed to lead this youth ministry being their leader.
Pioneering a youth ministry
2. Spend time with the young people outside of Church:
If you have any young people that are on the soccer team, football team, choir, or any other extra curricular activity in their school, I would encourage you to try and make it to one or two games. Many of the young people come from dysfunctional homes and it means the world to them to have their youth leader in the crowd cheering them on. Not only extra curricular activities, but if you can invite them out for lunch, an ice cream or even a movie. You will be surprised how a young person begins to open up to you when they are not around other young people.
Side Note: If you are having a challenge with a young person who is just not listening, being rebellious, and wanting to do their own thing. Before you give up on them take them out for a lunch or a football game and watch how that young person will begin to respond to you.
Remember, to build something takes time and it is no different in youth ministry. Too many times we can get caught up in how many young people are coming to our youth nights. Yes, I think having a lot of young people is great, but if they are not fulfilling the purposes of God upon their life then it can become just a crowd.
I am a firm believer that we should use youth ministry to disciple young people in the things of God. Challenging them to fulfill the purposes of God upon their life.
When I first started in youth ministry I was more focused on the numbers and was trying to do things to get numbers and not growing the spiritual lives of the young people. With an atmosphere that is not spiritual, it came become just a hang out. I decided I didn’t want a hang out, but I want to create an atmosphere where the call of God can be heard.
If you are new at being a youth leader or youth pastor I can’t stress this enough. Focus on creating an atmosphere where the call of God can be heard and everything else will come together. What I am saying is this: if you focus on the spiritual develop of the young people and grow them spiritually, then the growth in your youth night numbers will automatically come.