Archives for: July 2016

There were 2 posts published in July 2016.

Elements of a Healthy and Sustainable Youth Ministry: 1. Purpose

What makes a youth ministry Healthy and Sustainable? We’ve developed a set of seven elements to assess youth groups as part of our consultation process. Over the coming months we will give an overview of each.

1.  Purpose

The primary purpose of youth ministry is to bring glory to God as we set about fulfilling the commission to make disciples.
In practice this means:

  • Acknowledging the headship and centrality of Christ in the way direction is set, decisions are made and programmes are planned. “Christ is head of the church ” is not merely a theological concept but a practical reality. An effective youth ministry will acknowledge that and will show evidence of both seeking His direction and following it. They will be able to say “We are doing this because God led us to do it by…” and “We bought this person into leadership because God showed us they were the right person by…”
  • Ensuring all activities are ultimately geared toward making disciples who have their own real relationship with Christ who dwells within them by the Holy Spirit. A youth ministry that seeks to attract or hold on to young people by entertaining them ultimately fails at both because they are seeking to provide something which the world ultimately does better. Instead, the youth ministry actively seeks to expose young people to spiritual reality in a way that leaves them hungering for more of God.
  • Exercising faith through being willing to take risks, allowing God to lead the ministry and take the glory. Following Christ is never “safe”. Young people learn to exercise faith through being placed in situations where they need God to come through. An effective youth ministry will expose young people to these challenges, encouraging them to seek God in helping them get through by relying upon Him.

For more information about our consultation process,

Starting a Youth Ministry From Scratch

KEY PRINCIPLE: Look for evidence of God at work and join in.


  1. Make prayer your number one strategy. Pray does more than make things happen. Prayer enables us to see evidence of God’s work.        – God reveals His plans and revives His people through prayer.
  2. Make God’s purpose your purpose – to make disciples. (Matthew 28:19,20). Everything you do should be channelled toward that end.                      – Aim for the same thing as God and you will hit it.
  3. Start with who and what you have – leaders, young people, resources. Resist the temptation to lament and be limited by what you don’t have.     – God provides for His work to be done His way.
  4. Begin with where they’re at – find out where young people are socially and spiritually. Programme accordingly. – God is already at work in young people’s lives.
  5. Give ownership away – change them from consumers into participants. Do this through listening to their ideas and involving them in leadership.       –  God builds His church through gifted people.
  6. Grow through young people’s relational and social networks. Use these for publicity, remembering the best advertisement is word of mouth. – God is already at work in their relationships.
  7. Focus on individuals and their needs. Welcome young people individually and make them feel valued. Follow up absentees.                                         – God never sees a crowd – only individuals.
  8. Establish a Biblical programme – one that includes Bible study, fellowship, prayer, worship and mission (Acts 2:42 & 47).                           – Do God’s work, God’s way and see God’s results.
  9. Establish clear aims and specific strategies. Have short term and long term goals and develop a process for ongoing evaluation of your progress.       – God is never static – always moving forward.
  10. Give space for God to be real to the young people. Nothing will attract young people more than evidence that God is at work. – God is an active participant in our lives – not a static observer.