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5 Ways To Be Extraordinary In Youth Ministry

5 Ways To Be Extraordinary In Youth Ministry

Not too long ago I saw an article on CNN’s twitter feed entitled, “5 Ways To Be Extraordinary” by Brandon Griggs. It caught my attention. The traits identified in the article have merit for our consideration about serving students in the current culture and context we find ourselves in.

If you see those five ways to be extraordinary, you could easily think the writer is talking about your role as a youth minister or leader.

Show courage in crisis.


“Crisis” would be a good description of the waters your students are trying to navigate with changing bodies and growing minds. As they search for truth in a world that seems to be changing as fast as ever, it's important for you to show courage, and to not be afraid to deal with the issues they're facing. Your students don’t need another friend; they need a father or mother figure that is much wiser than them, and will help them grow closer to Christ.

Exhibit grace under pressure.


Most that master effective student ministry (if that's possible) understand that it's about much more than spending time with students. I often tell leaders to create a plan and divide their time up into thirds with 1/3 students, 1/3 parents and 1/3 youth workers. If you can be effective in each of these areas, and the Lord is a part of your ministry, you should be able to create a dynamic ministry.

There is likely pressure on you as a student minister from parents who want you to “fix” their kids, or make sure their kids don’t do stupid stuff.  Ask the Spirit to guide you as you interact with and lead parents, especially if many of them are older than you.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

Meet evil head on.


You are called to be a minister of the Gospel, not a minister of games. If the Kingdom is not being advanced in your ministry, take a step back and evaluate what you're doing, and why you are doing it.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
- James 4:7

Miracles are within your grasp.


As youth workers, we have amazing resources at our fingertips: The Creator of the heavens and earth sent His Son to give us an example of how to live; He left His Word to instruct us; and upon His earthly departure, gave us His Spirit to be a guide for us every day of our lives.  Live a life and lead a ministry surrendered to the Spirit, and you will continue to see miracles happen in the lives of many.

Share credit for your success.


If your ministry is all about you, it will fail and have less eternal impact than it could. Obviously, first and foremost, it's about the Lord and what He does in the lives of your students, parents, and adults. But as you know, it takes a quality team in order to get students to the feet of Jesus. This means you should work well with the other life-stage leaders on your church staff. Work in concert with the children’s minister for great transition, serving them in their needs with your students being involved (more than just that one week of VBS), and do the same for the college or young adult minister who will lead your students after they leave the youth group. You should be strategic and highly connected with your pastor and how they are leading the church body as a whole. The same should be true with your music minister or church worship leader. As a healthy team sharing the same mission you will be more successful.

So it is that easy, right?  While everyone might not give you the respect your role deserves (usually because they don’t fully understand what you do), I encourage you to go hard every day after being extraordinary in who you are and what you do.

Strive for this daily not only for your good, but also for His Glory.

About The Author

J. Roger Davis

J. Roger Davis

J. Roger Davis joined ym360 in 2015 as President and leader of all live events & experiences. Roger has been creating and giving leadership to excellent, gospel-centered youth ministry events since 1993. Roger bleeds Tennessee Vol orange and is a big Dallas Cowboys & San Antonio Spurs fan (where he used to be a ball boy.) He and his wife, Becca (a former YM) live in Birmingham with their 4 kids: Sterling, Landry, Kinsley, and Murray.

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