10 Momentum Killers in Youth Ministry

Building Youth Workers

Many youth leaders have a “lone ranger ” type of mentality when it comes to their student ministry. They think they can do it all by themselves. This type of thinking will frustrate you (and your family) and will cause you to be ineffective. As a youth leader, it is essential that you build an effective team no matter what size youth group you may have.

There are many benefits to having a healthy youth team. When you develop the leaders around you, your quality of ministry goes up. Your capacity, efficiency, and longevity are increased when responsibilities are divided.

Momentum Killer 1: Lack the Passion and Desire to Lead

The fix is to cultivate a genuine walk with God and ask Him to create the passion and desire within you.

Momentum Killer 2: Think You Can Do It All Yourself

The fix is to invite the right people to serve alongside you. It’s okay to be picky when choosing who will serve with you. They don’t need to be perfect, but you want to make sure they’ve got the character, the walk with God, and the time.

Momentum Killer 3: Don’t Value Those Who Volunteer Their Time

The fix is to intentionally express your gratefulness to them throughout the year. Make it known that everything they do is vital and important to the health of the student ministry. You truly do need them and you should value their time.

Momentum Killer 4: Youth Workers Aren’t Sure What Is Expected of Them

The fix is to annually teach youth workers their roles and responsibilities. People want to know what is expected of them. You also need to model the lifestyle that you are asking them to follow. Explain to them ahead of time if you expect them to visit each visitor that was in their class each week. Let them know exactly what you would like them to do.

Momentum Killer 5: The Resources Needed Are Not Provided

The fix is to learn to be a facilitator and meet the needs of your youth workers. Make sure they have the tools they need to effectively minister. Give them a weekly roster for their class and curriculum to teach. Load the bases for your workers and let them hit a grand slam!

Momentum Killer 6: Fail to Effectively Plan in Advance

The fix is to regularly set aside time for big picture planning. Sit down and go through your calendar and plan activities, soulwinning, and Bible studies way in advance so you can give the parents and workers schedules so they can plan ahead.

Momentum Killer 7: Fail to Communicate on a Regular Basis

The fix is to communicate weekly with your youth workers. Send them a weekly list of upcoming activities, meetings, and important dates. Give them a list of their absentees and visitors. Be sure they have the information they need to be better youth workers.

Momentum Killer 8: Have a “Template” Ministry

The fix is to discipline yourself to plan creatively. If you need to, enlist the help of others. Be sure that you are not just doing the exact same activity each year. Put some new activities on the calendar and take off some old ones. Don’t fall into the rut of just doing the same things.

Momentum Killer 9: Don’t Take Time to Evaluate the Efficiency of Your Team

The fix is to create a culture of evaluation. Frequently evaluate what needs to change in how things are being done. Get input from other workers and parents and make the appropriate changes. Make sure the curriculum that the teachers use is effective and that the teachers aren’t struggling through it.

Momentum Killer 10: Simply Just Don’t Get along with Someone You Serve Alongside Of

The fix is to strive for biblical unity. You will from time to time serve with someone that you don’t get along with as well as others. New youth leaders may inherit a youth worker that they don’t particularly enjoy serving alongside. We must strive for biblical unity though. You may not enjoy the same hobbies, but look for the common ground of loving the Lord and wanting to see spiritual growth in the teens.

As youth leaders, we must understand that volunteers and youth workers do not exist for our benefit—we exist for their benefit! We ought to focus more on edifying the saints in the church than entertaining the teenagers. We are to edify the co-laborers that God has brought into the ministry.

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