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,