30 Must-Know Youth Ministry Tips

I can still remember my very first Sunday as a Youth Pastor. I could honestly say that I had no earthly idea what I was doing. However, I knew that I wanted to teach students God’s word. I knew that I wanted to reach lost teenagers with the gospel. 

Ultimately, I knew it was only God who gave me the desire to do these things. The reality is, there’s a lot more to student ministry than reaching lost teens and teaching them the Bible. I didn’t know this at first. Through trial and error, learning from other great youth pastors, and my personal experience, I’ve come to realize that many aspects play into the discipleship of adolescents.

That’s why I’m sharing this free eBook containing 30 youth ministry tips!

In this short eBook, you will discover simple, practical, and accessible youth ministry tips to help the average youth worker reach students in their sphere of influence

1. Take volunteers to coffee weekly. 

Every youth pastor needs to be meeting up for lunch or coffee with their volunteers on a weekly basis. Weekly meet-ups are a time for you to encourage them, get to know them, and a time to lead them. If you’d like to reach more students, begin equipping leaders in your ministry. 

Bonus Tip: Include this in your budget! Make sure to consider these coffee meetings when planning your annual budget. 

2. Bless the front desk at your local school.

School support is essential to youth ministry. Buy a few assorted boxes of donuts from your local bakery and deliver them to the front desk. Let the administrative office know you are rooting for them. This relationship is essential. It will allow for a stable connection between the church and those considered to be the gatekeepers to your students.

3. Use a sermon prep checklist.

This checklist is a no brainer. As the Youth Pastor, one of your primary roles is teaching and contextualizing God’s word. Since preparation becomes a weekly routine, find a system that works for you. This beats staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page wondering, “now what?” Efficiency in writing equals more valuable time with students.  

4. Send weekly email updates to parents and volunteers.

This one is an easy win. Be proactive in communicating with parents. They will always appreciate it. An email consisting of the teaching for the week, pictures of the past week, and stories of life-change is a great place to start. Your adults should never say, “I have no idea what’s going on in the student ministry.” Communication is key. Communicate more than you think they need to know, then communicate some more. 

5. Provide invitations after your message for students to respond. 

Develop a next steps culture. Most teenagers are looking to begin a journey with Jesus; they just need to know where to start. Every message should give them a step to take. Consistent invitations will create reverent and real responses. Your message preparation should always include a time to respond. Ask, “what should my students do next?” 

6. Study up today’s student culture. 

Youth culture is consistently changing. Utilize resources, such as axis.org, that allow you to study and understand youth context. Parents are looking towards you to be their cultural translator, so keep up with the culture. 

7. Listen to youth ministry podcasts while driving.

We should always be listening to other voices in the world of youth ministry. Make the best use of your time by listening to podcasts like Fifteen Minutes with Frank, Controlled Chaos, or Youth Ministry Hacks while driving to your destination. Why not choose to grow as a Youth Pastor during the mundane moments of life? I hear there’s even a cool podcast for those reading this called Youth Pastor Tips. (Seriously, look it up. It’s mine.) 

8. Network with local youth pastors. 

We are stronger together. You are not alone, so network with other youth pastors in your area. Block out time where you can gather with others in the trenches. Networking has always been a time for my network to pray together, brainstorm, and share new, cool ideas.

9. Pray for your students by name.

Prayer is pivotal if you want to win as a youth pastor. The scripture is clear. We should pray continually. Our students need to be in our prayers. They need to be taken before the throne of grace on our behalf. Intercession is one of the most valuable roles of a youth pastor. 

10. Attend a Youth Worker conference.

Youth Worker conferences are one of the most incredible resources worldwide for Youth Pastors. I have always left these conferences feeling encouraged (especially after a difficult season). These hands-on, practical programs have given me training I didn’t even know I needed. In my experience, NYWC is one of the best conferences out there.

Download the full Youth Ministry Tips eBook with 20 more youth ministry tips for free by clicking on the button below.

This Youth Ministry Tips eBook was written by Anthony Vargas 

My journey in student ministry began in 2012 as a Youth Pastor in Mississippi. Almost nine years later, my wife Bailee and I are just as passionate about reaching students with the gospel. You can find out more about who I am and what I do at AnthonyVargas.org.

You might also like this free eBook on how to gain and retain amazing volunteers.