Home Youth Leaders An Open Letter to Youth Pastors

An Open Letter to Youth Pastors

youth pastors
Adobestock #703631079

Dear youth leader,

It’s an open secret that youth ministry has failed.

The current strategies we use in the United States aren’t getting us to where we all long for our teenagers to be spiritually.

According to The Great Opportunity—a heart-wrenching report by the Pinetops Foundation—around 1 million U.S. teenagers from an evangelical background walk away from the faith every year.

That fact is worth lamenting, but if all we do is wring our hands and then continue doing ministry the same old way, nothing will change. It’s time to ask what can be done.

The Wrong Youth Ministry Strategies

The solution is not cooler-looking curriculums that hit the felt needs of teenagers but skip over the top of Scripture passages like a rock skipping across the water.

The solution is not just another camp experience where a good speaker tells stories and gets kids crying and coming forward for another short-lived campfire commitment.

The solution is not flashier, funnier, and more entertaining youth ministry programs.

The solution is not even, in and of itself, better training in theology, worldview, and apologetics.

The Right Youth Ministry Strategies

Because of this, we must radically shift our youth ministry models to embrace a book-of-Acts approach.

Yes, our teenagers need solid theology taught to them in a relevant way. But they must be activated and missionized, not just instructed and educated.

Milk poured into a sponge, even the highest quality milk, will spoil if it’s not wrung out.

We must pour the milk of God’s Word and sound theology into the minds and souls of our teenagers, but if they’re not equipped to squeeze those truths out to others through Spirit-fueled, love-drenched service, evangelism, and disciple-making, that milk will spoil.

Our teenagers need to go deep and wide—we must first take them deep into the Word and then send them wide into their world with the Gospel.

If we want them to grow, we must get them to go!

This means we must tear down the youth ministry constructs and strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) we’ve inherited. Then we must rebuild youth ministry models and programs from the ground up, on the solid rock of Jesus Christ.

The First Steps To Rebuild Your Youth Ministry

How do you even start? Let me give you three ways:

1. Download my free e-book “Gospelize YourYouth Ministry.” In it, you’ll learn the seven values of a Gospel Advancing ministry as found in the book of Acts. You can also listen to it on Audible, where I will read it to you myself.

2. Join the Gospel Advancing Ministry group on Facebook, where you can connect with more than 3,000 other youth leaders who are burning down the house so they can build something better.