What Leadership In Youth Ministry Looks Like

If you grew up in a youth ministry you were impacted by some adult who poured time and energy into you.  They might be the reason you got involved. You love what they did and now that you are in it, you realize it looks different.

There is MORE to ministry than just hanging out.  The MORE involves administrative duties as well as pastoral.  You might feel more inclined to the latter because you want to pay forward what you received.  But, the reality is leadership in youth ministry also requires that you:


As a leader of students you need to expand your capacity.  The only way you’ll be able to accomplish this is by recruiting and investing in other leaders.  That means spending an allotted time in equipping and training adults to be invest in teens on your behalf.


Without a vision you have little to no purpose.  Your vision requires you to spend time clarifying and communicating it.  If you do not then you’ll just find the messiness of youth ministry amplified.

Take time during your week to strategize and dream about the vision.  Figure out who needs to know it and communicate it out there.  Make sure you are not only the only person focused on the vision.


Youth ministry can be organic; however, it still needs guidelines.  That means you need systems and structures that:

  • Plug adults into ministry.
  • Get teens involved in different areas of your program.
  • Keep parents connected and growing.

If you are not intentional about how people behave and interact in your ministry you’ll create false expectations and dangerous behaviors.  Seek insight and advice from others (including your pastor) on how people should move through the ministry.


If you want teens coming to your ministry you need to make sure word is out.  While posting on social media and sending out flyers is one method you also need to talk to the right people.

In your church community there are men and women of influence.  People who will help you:

  • Spread the word
  • Recruit leaders
  • Raise money
  • Create more buy-in from the community

Focus on those relationships so that they can help you build stronger ones with teenagers.

The question you need to answer is:

Do I want to spend more time with teens or have a bigger impact?

If you want to spend time with teens continue to just hang with them.  But, if you want to grow disciples who are going out into the world confident in your faith you need to make sure you are creating a ministry that best prepares them to do that.  It will take sacrifice, but it’s worth it.

Question: Share your thoughts, what do you think leadership in youth ministry should look like?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.