Tips for Starting a Youth Ministry From Scratch
KEY PRINCIPLE: Look for evidence of God at work and join in.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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