How to Grow the Youth Ministry at Church

All student pastors should want to grow their youth group program. But how can we attract more teenagers to participate in our student ministry? What are the things that cause a youth program to grow? This post will help you make a list of ideas and inspire your own creative thoughts. Ultimately, growing the student ministry means reaching and helping more teenagers to grow spiritually. It’s about making room for the Holy Spirit to work in in the lives of more High School and Middle School students in your community.

Hint!  One source for ideas is to ask the youth.

Sometimes if the program is small the youth might want to keep it that way!  It can have a comfortable close knit feel with an established hierarchy of personal attention from the youth director.  If that is so, it’s time to give them a pep talk about Jesus’s command to build a growing inclusive community.

The reality is that Seniors graduate each year.  We need to be intentional about bringing in new youth and youth to replace those that launch.

Ideas for Growing a Church Youth Ministry:

In a way, youth directors are God’s gardeners.  Preparing the soil, helping the youth to plant their seeds, waiting for the seeds to germinate and nurturing the roots to go deep.  When we pray and discuss scripture, God adds the nourishment, water and light so the youth can bear fruit.

1. Plant seeds to grow the youth program.

  • Build a team of volunteers and the program will grow.  Avoid overwork and burnout.
  • Have youth mentor the upcoming class of children in the children’s program.
  • Identify and use the interests and gifts of each youth to let the power of the Holy Spirit work – help each youth’s light be a beacon by helping them uncover it.
  • Establish and mentor a youth leadership team to help you.
  • Teach and demonstrate outreach – make sure new students are always welcome
  • Recruit parent volunteers because those parents will be your advocates to reach other parents with youth

Remember, help in the garden does exist.  Adult workers (parents) can assist you!  Bonus!  Their service will be a blessing in their lives.

2. Tools for working God’s garden.

I’ve always looked at youth ministry in 4 year blocks.  Organic growth takes time and it’s seasonal.  It’s easy to get discouraged because planting seeds and nurturing growth takes time.  But creating strong roots produces growth and ultimately fruit.  To expand the youth group ask, “How can I improve my church youth group?”

  • Prayer to daily ask for help, strength, and wisdom.
  • Scripture lessons to show us Jesus’s teachings for growing in the Way.
  • Creativity for teaching and also for playing fun games.
  • A community for support when it gets hard.
  • Passion for helping young people and sharing the Gospel.

Reflections Questions for Student Leaders

  • Do you routinely meditate and pray about how to grow the youth program?
  • Do you ask the youth to pray for you and their youth group?
  • Are you actively looking for adult volunteers to help you with ministry?
  • Do you meet regularly with the volunteers to mentor them on how to be relational with the youth?

Bottom Line: Teenagers Need the Youth Ministry for their Own Spiritual Growth

The teenage years can be a difficult time. Teens are trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in. They may be dealing with things like bullying, depression, and peer pressure. Church youth groups can provide a much-needed support system for teens during this time. By providing a safe and welcoming environment, church youth groups can help teens to feel comfortable exploring their faith and discovering who they are in Christ. Additionally, church youth groups can provide an opportunity for teens to develop leadership skills and serve their community. When teenagers are actively involved in their church youth group, they are more likely to stay connected to their faith into adulthood. For these reasons, it is important to attract new teenagers to your church youth group ministry.

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