4 Components Of The Perfect Youth Ministry Format

Teens had to be there.  The activities were too long.  I spoke with no point or direction.  Our youth ministry program format was perfect for driving teens away.  Something had to change. 

Courtesy of Keoni Cabral/Courtes of Creative Commons License

Courtesy of Keoni Cabral/Creative Commons License

Maybe it’s your first year in youth ministry and you’ve walked into a mess.  Maybe you’ve been in the same place for a while and you’ve hit a rut.  

You are disappointed by the attendance.  Volunteers are hard to come by.  Things need to change.  If you are looking to create, tweak or change your youth ministry’s format be sure you:


It’s easy to grow comfortable in youth ministry.  If something works we wonder, “Why even change it?”  The reason is because the world around you changes.  While there are Truths that are nonnegotiable the components of your ministry’s format that should be adaptable are:

  • The curriculum and content.
  • The time, place and space.
  • The order of each component.

When you can show flexibility it allows you to address:

  • Moments of tragedy.
  • The fluctuation of attendance.
  • The impact of weather.

By embracing flexibility in your youth ministry’s format you prevent frustration and allow room for growth.


For a healthy youth ministry build it around relationships.  A relational ministry format allows teens to feel welcomed and known.  It will peel back layers and encourage teenagers to go deeper in their faith.

To create a relational ministry be sure to:

  • Invest in volunteers.
  • Create moments of relational sharing (i.e. small groups)
  • Create expectations that no teenager stands alone.

To connect a teen into a relationship with Jesus Christ, you need to help them connect into relationships that display him.  Those relationships should be in your ministry.


Your environments matter.  People care that the place is clean and organized.  They care if the furniture is comfortable.  If a place is not put together people won’t go back.

Environments also impact your format.  The size will limit what activities you plan.  If you share space, you need to be adaptable.  Study your environments.  Embrace them.  Then do what you can to make them irresistible.


One day you will not be running the youth ministry at your church.  Put together a succession plan and work on levels of leaders.  If you go down (i.e. get sick) who takes the reigns?  Too many times we create something around our personality.  

Your ministry format is important.  Study your church’s environment and culture.  Figure out who the teens are in your community and then build a program with a solid format.

What other components belong in a long lasting youth ministry program?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Paula Davis

    Great message on a day when I really needed it! A shot of MYM for my mind and soul!