Summer is a great time to connect with students in your youth ministry, so I created a checklist. This can be helpful for all youth leaders who serve in any capacity. If you’re the point person, I encourage you to share this with your team!

I’ve broken this up into three levels of connection. But the truth is there are probably more. This is just a good way to categorize it all.

And keep in mind this is by no means a complete list. Just a starting point.

Level 1

  • Get to know the student’s first & last name (and say their name when you see them)
  • Find out the parents’ and siblings’ names
  • What sports, activities and/or interests is the student involved in?
  • What school do they attend?
  • Make it a point to meet parents and introduce yourself.
  • Search for the #1 thing that the student is really into and effortlessly gets them talking.
  • Ongoing communication with parents of everyone in the group & individually (email, text, social media, etc). The more personal, the better.

Level 2

  • Ask questions, both in a small group setting and one on one when appropriate, to find out where students are in their relationship with Jesus.
  • Go to a student’s game or activity and have a conversation with parents. You learn a lot about them, the family dynamics and overall faith of the family. You also show support to that student, which goes a long way in relational equity.
  • Ask questions about the student’s friends, get to know their names, and encourage him/her to invite them to youth group.
  • Write them an encouraging birthday card pointing out what you see God doing in their lives and highlighting the great qualities you see in them.
  • Meet up with students 1-1 or in small groups of 3-5 outside of youth ministry programming.
  • Ask about their last sports game (or fill in the blank) and what’s coming up next.
  • During small group time, ask for prayer requests and pray for one another.

Level 3

  • What is their biggest struggle in life and in their relationship with Jesus? And how can you support and encourage them?
  • What level of discipleship are they ready for and how can you help them on that journey?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are they really good at and not good at?
  • How can you give them the opportunity to use their gifts & talents to serve others inside and outside of youth group?
  • Celebrate milestones or major events in their lives, such as: graduation from middle school or high school, birthday, winning the championship game, getting through a tough year of school, getting into the college of their choice, turning 13 years old, getting a drivers license, persevering through a difficult situation, etc.

Want to add something to the list? Post it in the comment section.

Written by Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth

Looking for a summer series for your youth ministry? Check out…

SUMMER IN THE PSALMS – A new and improved 8-week summer series on the book of Psalms.

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