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Small Church Youth Ministry: Ideas to Help You (and Kids) Thrive

small church youth ministry

Small church youth ministry has been receiving lots of attention lately. In part, this is thanks to the efforts of ministry veteran Stephanie Caro. For three decades, she’s been an incredible resource to youth workers through her books and her work with Ministry Architects.

In this YS Idea Lab, Stephanie shares a few of her best ideas for small church youth ministry:

Don’t have time to watch the full interview? Then look at a few key points I gleaned from the conversation.

Small Church Youth Ministry: 5 Important Reminders

1. Most churches are small. 

If you’re a small church youth worker, you’re not alone. In America, 90 percent of churches have fewer than 299 members. The average youth group in America has seven to eight students. The good news is that lots of small churches know how to do sustainable youth ministry as a natural part of the church’s DNA. Some of the many benefits of small church youth ministry include:

  • You can know every teenager’s name.
  • You can be present on every kid’s turf (school, programs, sporting events, etc.).
  • Quick, last-minute changes are easier.
  • You might be able to fit the entire youth group into one church van.
  • You can integrate student events into the larger church calendar.

2. Focus on doing a few things really well.

With small church youth ministry, a temptation is to try to keep up with the programming and schedules of larger churches. The unfortunate result is that you’ll tend to do things in a fairly mediocre fashion. But if you scale back and focus on a handful of things you can execute well, then you can deliver a quality event or program despite limited resources.