-Josh Luecht

It is not hard to see the challenges that the church faces today to minister to the young people in our communities. The reality is that if we don’t reach young people before they leave for college, the odds of them ever responding to the Gospel go down dramatically.

Recent research says that 74% of decisions for Christ are made before the age of 18, and 87% are made before the age of 21! This means that youth ministry is one of the most fertile grounds to share the Gospel! Showing youth that we care about them and encouraging them to follow Jesus when it’s hard, is not an easy thing to do.

Here are a few tips for youth pastors who are trying to lead their groups well in today’s youth culture!

Always See What You Do With The Youth As Valuable

Even when you don’t see visible results the fact that you show up for teenagers matters to them. Even if it’s just showing up to their basketball game, or their school play. The fact that you care about them matters. As you gain their trust by showing them that you care, you get amazing opportunities to share your relationship with Jesus with them.

Oftentimes youth pastors do not get to see the results of their labor, which comes years after they poured their lives into students. Everything you do matters, and you are doing more than you think!

Pour Into People Not Programs

Youth ministry is about reaching people. When thinking through how to reach students make sure that this is the main focus! It can be tempting to think that if we pull off a perfect youth service it will change all of the students that attend. The reality is, however, that ministry happens most in moments one on one with students. The win is not the successful program… the win is a transformed life!

Go Deep With Your Students

Don’t be afraid to teach them hard truths found in the Bible. Don’t be scared that you will confuse them. As long as you are prepared and share the Word with them, they can understand it. Teenagers can understand algebra! I can’t figure that stuff out, but I can track with deep spiritual truths and so can teenagers.

There is millions of distractions for teenagers. Streaming services, social media, text messaging…all of these things compete for teenagers attention. But what is not easily found elsewhere is the truth of the Word of God. Don’t be afraid to use that as the attraction to youth ministry. Students are hungry for the truth, they want you to “be real” with them. When you dive deep and teach the Word of God to them, you will see amazing results! Even if its’ not right away, teaching students the Word will help build a foundation they can stand on for the rest of their lives. The focus of youth ministry should be educating and equipping students in the Word, and then teaching them to live out their faith in their world!

If you are interested in being equipped to serve the Lord in youth ministry, Calvary Chapel University offers a fully accredited B.A. Degree in Youth Ministry that will help you to develop your leadership in this area. Visit CalvaryChapelUniversity.edu for more information!