What’s a gem of youth ministry advice that was passed on to you and still holds true?
We recently asked some youth ministry leaders that question and here’s what they said…
If you don’t want to quit once a year, then you probably aren’t doing it right.
Elizabeth Gage Hudacko:
Students don’t care how much you know, they need to know how much you care.
Robert Scott Alexander:
When you think they are not listening… they are. Really closely as a matter of fact.
Some aren’t “youth group” kids. Just because they’re not involved, doesn’t mean they’re bad or without need for your support.
Pizza is the answer. It doesn’t matter what the question is.
In times of tragedy, you don’t ask…you go.
You have to earn the right to speak into their lives.
In ministry, there’s our part, the students part, and Gods part of making life change happen. God only asked us to do our part, and do it faithfully.
The mark of a truly great youth minister is one who is willing to plant trees knowing he may never sit in its shade.
Showing up for them, showing you care about what they care about, is as good as any lesson you can teach.
You will NEVER make everyone happy. That’s okay, keep going.
Tracie M. Long:
Seek out the one. There is one there who needs more personalized attention. It could be the quietest one, or it could be the loudest, most expressive one. Keep an eye out for “the one” because they need you and your reassurance.
David Kawika Smith:
Be the support for them that you wish you had growing up.
Always have a Plan B, C & D.
Students won’t cry with you, until they laughed with you!
Its about quality, not quantity.
Heather Bowlin Laird:
Keep God at the center of everything.
Don’t let anyone “should” on you.
Kaitlyn Jackson Wilson:
Students can tell if you’re being genuine or not. If you’re trying to build fake relationships with them, they’ll know.
Whenever I’m about to do something, I think: “Would an idiot do that?”. if they would, I do not do that thing.
If you’re talking, you’re not listening.
Now, here’s some youth ministry advice from me:
- Find and keep a sustainable pace for the long haul. This often means you need to slow down.
- Less is more.
- If you’re full-time, then take off at least one full day of ministry each week. Two days is optimal.
- Pursue an interest or hobby outside of ministry and/or church life.
- The outcomes of your efforts are not up to you. Be faithful and trust that God is always active in the lives of students.
- Your primary job is to create an environment where students connect with God.
About a year and a half ago we asked this question to youth ministry leaders. It’s very similar to the one we asked this time around. The question was…
What’s one of the oldest pieces of ministry wisdom that still rings true for you today?
Go here to read the responses.
Hope you found some helpful advice here today.
– Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth
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