3 Lessons I Learned About Youth Ministry

85% of the people who trust in Jesus do so before the age of 18. The average teen has at least 200 online and face-to-face friends they can reach with the gospel. Many Christian teens attend public schools which provides them a daily context for relational evangelism. Young people are driven by a cause and making disciples is the ultimate one. It’s been young people who have caused revolutions and massive social change in the history of the world. Reading the Church history and history of God’s generals, young people have been at the front of revivals. Even Jesus’ disciples were young men.

Ministry to the youth is very crucial in the church. Working with youth for 14 years and seeing God’s grace move powerfully in our church among youth. Majority of Hungry Generation is young people. I want to share three most important things to have in youth ministry.

FUN. This may offend some religious people but our God is a good God. The Kingdom of God is portrayed as a feast, not a funeral. In God’s presence are pleasure and joy. God’s first characteristic revealed to humanity is the creator. God is a creative God. One of the reasons many youth ministries will not grow is that they look more like funeral homes than wedding feasts. The atmosphere of the service has to carry excitement. We emphasize smiling and passion on the stage and among our leaders. Creating fun activities before or after the service, trips, events add to the culture of joy in the ministry. The ultimate source of joy is the presence of God. We want to create a place that draws young people. We like to say, there is no high like the Most High, meaning when we are with God we have more joy than anyone on drugs or alcohol.

Few tips:
– Ask everyone on your team to SMILE
– Make a special service once a month call it INVITE NITE, do something special for that service
– Competitions, games, and giveaways
– Organize trips to conferences or camps
– Require your people on the stage to exhibit high energy and passion

FRIENDSHIP. Our generation is longing for love and acceptance. They are looking for love. Because of abuse and divorce, love is rarely found in the family unit. They look for it in gangs, drugs, and sex. Many kids will come to church because of an invitation but they will stay only because of love. Love is the glue that holds youth in the kingdom of God. Sadly many youth groups have clicks and don’t let anyone in that click. Many churches have judgementalism in the air. They fear if they let kids feel like they belong before they believe in Jesus then it will compromise their message. Remember Jesus called people to belong before they believed. Most of them believed after they belonged.

Belong – Believe – Become Share on X

Few tips:
– Have some people in your parking lot with posters excited to see new guests (father of prodigal son met his son before he got to the house)
– Greeters welcoming people home at the doors
– Let leaders be intentional about connecting with new guests
– Don’t point to new guests during the service by asking them to raise their hand or stand up
– Give guests a gift for in return for their information
– Don’t point to guests where to go, always take them there
– Follow up with the guests by email, SMS, and phone call

FIRE – Young generation needs to experience God and have an explanation of what they experienced. Many ministries only focus on explanation, some only on experience. We need both. Holy Spirit is the center of all that we do. Never be afraid of the supernatural when doing youth ministry. I am afraid to do ministry without Holy Spirit moving. Games, food, and fun is a way that a heart is open to the Lord but the Holy Spirit is who reveals Jesus to the young generation. Before Jesus spoke to Lazarus, people had to remove the stones. I believe the fun and friendliness removes the stone from the dead Lazarus of the youth generation. Jesus spoke life to Lazarus and he came out of the grave, this is what it’s all about.
– Create worship set of songs that glorify Jesus, not just our emotions. Avoid songs that sing more about “ME” “I” “MY” but “YOU”
– Always have testimonies during the service. Testimonies bring more testimonies.
– Create sermons that lead to an encounter, not just more enlightenment.
– Pray for miracles and expect supernatural.
– Lead youth to a life of prayer, fasting and generous giving.
– Always have testimonies during the service. Testimonies bring more testimonies.

Ask yourself this question, if everyone at youth group will live as you do, will youth group experience revival?

I pray for God’s grace to move mighty in your ministry. I would love to hear ideas from you about youth ministry!

Stay connected with Pastor Vlad.

Blog by Vladimir Savchuk
Facebook: @vladhungrygen
Instagram: @vladhungrygen