Why Youth Ministry Feels Competitive

And How To Diffuse It

I’m naturally competitive.  I love competition in sports because of the drama and excitement.  But, when it comes to competition in real life it drives me crazy.

Youth ministry can often feel competitive.  You compete with the schedules of teens and volunteers.  You compete with other churches and community events.  It gets tiresome.  If you feel the competition and want it to stop then you need to start:


To have an impact in your community takes time.  Too often we expect the culture to change, when it’s us that needs to adapt.  That doesn’t mean sacrificing theology it means changing strategy.

When you get to know the culture you will begin to build a strategy to become more accessible.  You will know how to reach outsiders and connect with teens who never had a thought about church.


There are many times we do not get the results we desire because we are not doing what it takes.  As a youth ministry you need to analyze and critique what it is you are doing.

That might mean sending out a survey or doing a S.W.O.T. (Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats) Analysis of your ministry.  Sit down with people who can give you honest input and listen to what you can learn. (For more on gaining feedback read HERE)


Your ministry is capable of doing great things, it’s just not capable of doing everything.  We feel the competition when we try to be all things to all people.

Your ministry has an identity.  It’s meant to reach certain people in different seasons of life.  Get to know your identity by looking at your vision, understanding your target audience and knowing the culture around you.


Instead of looking at it like a competition start looking at ministry as a partnership.  Sit down with coaches, teachers, youth ministers and other community leaders to discuss the next generation.

Share life together on a regular basis and you will see that you are fighting a similar battle.  In the end you’ll find that youth ministry doesn’t feel like such a silo.  Having others (Especially outside of ministry) to partner with will build a stronger community presence.

Question: Where do you feel like you are competing in your ministry?  Where have you successfully moved from competing to networking? You can leave a comment by clicking here.