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Reverse Engineering Your Youth Ministry

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Reverse Engineeering Your Youth Ministry

I hear some youth workers talk about needing the right curriculum or the right kind of room to meet the needs of students, except, that’s not what they need.

Start with the needs of kids, not our idea of what we think kids need

God already knew what man needed and sent the solution, from The Garden to The Cross. Everything Jesus offers is what man needs. We can offer the same thing to our students.

Our students (and their families) need rest

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Do we over-schedule, keeping the same kids busy all the time? Why not take a month off from any activities or plan a quarterly family night.

Our students need forgiveness

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48

We are always challenging our kids to be more and do more but many times they feel like failures. Do we offer them a chance to confess or unload the burdens they carry?

Our students need a way out isolation and a way into kingdom life of the church

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”  John 18:36

Leave our kids alone too long and it starts looking like Lord of the Flies. Our kids need relationships with the adults in our church. This can be accomplished through work projects with our men, craft nights with our  women, or combined missions trips.

Our students need the truth

It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.  3 John 1:3

We’ve been discussing the beliefs of various denominations and I asked kids how they would choose a church to belong to. Many of the kids said


Feeling welcome


and, thankfully, one students (whom I have dubbed the Secretary of Truth) said

Are they preaching the truth from the bible

We can get so lost in the trends of the day or just wanting to make our kids laugh or feel good we miss the chance to impart truth.

Our students need life

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you–they are full of the Spirit and life. John 6:63

Life, yes from Jesus, but life giving words from us as well. I used to focus on the negatives like “Where were you? ” and ” How come you didn’t come to the event.” Now, I try to make sure my words are life giving “We missed you” and “Hey, you can catch the next ________”.

Life giving words will produce life in students and collectively a life giving youth  ministry.

Your Turn

What do your kids need?

Does your calendar reflect this?






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