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Tips for 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. 

By Murray Brown

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