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Youth Ministry Goals: Discover How to Set Up Your Program for Success

youth ministry goals

Youth ministry goals are essential for short-term and long-term impact. Goals encourage you and your volunteers to continuously improve, help you keep plans on track, and lead to lasting impact on young lives.

So where to begin? Start small with youth ministry goals so you don’t get overwhelmed. Look toward the upcoming week first. Then expand to the month, semester, and year ahead.

When you’re satisfied with those goals, take time to think even further ahead. Set youth ministry goals for the next five years or even the next decade. Even if you’re no longer at the helm or no longer at that church, what do you envision? What are your big-picture dreams and hopes for teen ministry?

If you’ve ever looked into goal-setting, you’ve likely heard the SMART acronym. Here’s what those letters represent:

  • Specific – What detailed actions will you take?
  • Measurable – How will you evaluate your progress?
  • Achievable – Is the goal realistic and achievable?
  • Relevant – Does the goal mesh with your responsibilities?
  • Time-bound – What’s the schedule or deadline?

To help you be SMART about your own youth ministry goals, we’ve gathered goal-setting (and goal-meeting) advice. Use the expert tips below to brainstorm, set, and reach your goals.

6 Resources for Exploring Youth Ministry Goals

1. Back to Basics: The Essence of Youth Ministry

Before launching into specific goals about attendance and plans, first consider the big picture. What is your overall goal as a youth minister? Is it discipleship? evangelism? relationship-building? All of the above? As Barna Research discovered, that’s not as clear as you might expect. So make sure everyone’s on the same page. (That’s includes the senior pastor, church staff, volunteers, parents, and teens.)

2. Aim Your Actions at What You Want to Accomplish

These insights from Andy Blanks at YouthMinistry360 will help you craft goals that are on target. Unless you know where you’re going, you won’t know when you arrive!