Oftentimes youth workers do youth ministry with no thoughts as to why they do it and what their goals are. They simply do it to do it. Honestly, that can be very dangerous. You definitely need more than that, and even more than what is just in this article. But it is important to have goals in your ministry and for you personally as the minister. You might want to change or tweak some of these to fit you personally but here are 5 great goals for youth ministry.
1. Have Fun
Church should not be boring for anyone! The terrible stereotype about church is that it is a boring place and comes from the fact that so many churches are boring! I have been to boring churches before and it is terrible. We need to make our ministries fun!
If anyone has a reason to have fun and be joyful it should be Christians! But too many Christians and too many churches let the world out fun them and they walk around like their dog died. Bring some life into your ministry and have fun!
2. Empower Leaders
We as youth workers have a tendency to program, plan, and execute well without ever empowering our students and turning the reins over to them. We must to learn to stop teaching at our students and hoping something sinks in. Instead teach them why we do what we do, how they too can do it, and let them loose to do it.
We NEED to teach our students to lead. Create spaces for them to lead. Develop student leadership teams and train them to be leaders. We cannot expect our students and young adults to be leaders if we never give them opportunities to lead. Have confidence in your students and let them know they are not just the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today and can make a major impact NOW!
3. Reach Lost Students
The answer to the question of whether or not you should be outreach focused, is no. It’s not that you should be, its that you MUST be. Here is why. Jesus was, Jesus called us to be, and we live in a world that desperately needs the church to be outwardly focused!
Way, way too many youth ministries exist only for the students inside the church when the world around them is dying. We need to make it our goal to do what it takes to reach lost students. It may get messy, it may not be easy, it may disrupt the comfort of your current ministry, but it is ESSENTIAL that we reach lost students!
4. Build Meaningful Relationships
Let’s be honest for a second, all those messages you pour hours and hours into week after week might be absolutely amazing but students are NOT going to remember them! But, they will remember you and the interactions and relationships you had with them. I grew up in church and heard well over 500 messages throughout my time in middle school and high school and I remember about 4 of them. But I can spend all day telling you stories of my youth pastors and leaders and the things they did to impact my life.
Build relationships with students and point them to Jesus!
5. Stay On Your Toes
Don’t let yourself get comfortable where you are. Too many youth workers (and churches) are OK with being OK but God has called us to more than that. We need to strive for excellence which means we need to constantly evaluate ourselves and our ministries and look for areas to improve. Our goal must be to improve, innovate, reach more, and become more effective in our ministries. Stay on your toes and fight complacency.