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Youth Ministry Student Roles: 10 Ways to Increase Teen Ownership

youth ministry student roles

One of the most amazing things you’ll ever do in youth ministry is empower students to take ownership of the program. After all, it’s their ministry (or should be). Having a wide variety of youth ministry student roles helps turn that goal into a reality.

I’ll certainly never forget my youth pastor allowing me to serve and empowering me to do so. It all started with just letting me make the announcements and emcee youth group.. Now, two decades later, I’m a youth worker myself. I’m not only empowering teens to take ownership of our ministry but coaching other youth workers to follow some of the same steps I learned from my youth pastor!

Check out this list of ways that young people can serve, learn and grow.

10 youth ministry student roles that teens can fill:

1. Announcements

This tops the list for me because it was the first of my own youth ministry student roles. Give up the mic to a teenager or two, and then watch them shine.

2. Games

If you plan to play a game (or two) during the course of a meeting or event, ask one or more students to plan the game ahead of time. Then allow those kids to run it.

3. Greeters

Make sure teenagers are the first contact when someone walks through your facility’s doors. Prepare a welcome table and recruit several students to greet guests as they arrive.

4. Snacks

If your youth group is like ours, you have a few members who are excellent bakers. Encourage them to share their kitchen skills with the entire group. Ask a few teens who like baking (or even just eating) to prepare the snacks for youth meetings and events.

5. Photographer

These days, taking amazing photos is easier than ever. Designate a few young people who have a heart for ministry and a creative eye to be your resident photographers. It’s a “snap” to find out who these folks are: Just check out their social media accounts or notice the camera (probably a phone) in their hand!

6. Prayer

I love when students lead our youth meetings in prayer. Ahead of time, ask teens who feel comfortable to pray in front of your group. Then give them the mic.

7. Social media

Encourage teens to take ownership of your youth group’s Facebook page and other social media. Have students update the platforms (under your direction) and share your ministry with the online community.

8. Connecting with other teens

Teens can come up with great ways to reach out to their peers. Allow students to lead your group in connecting with new students and also with those who might be missing in action.

9. Lead mission and service projects

Assemble students who are excited about missions or serving, and empower them to lead a project for the youth ministry. Coach them through all the logistics, but let them coordinate and oversee the projects.

10. Sharing

One of the best decisions I ever made was giving up the mic to allow teens to share talks or stories with the group. Definitely coach them ahead of time, but then empower them to teach or preach.

Encouraging and empowering young people to do the work of ministry goes a long way toward steering them away from being consumers. Providing youth ministry student roles helps mold kids into lifelong participants in God’s Kingdom.

What other youth ministry student roles do you recommend?

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Terrace Crawford is an entrepreneur, youth worker-at large, with an affinity for Social Media, and founder of MinistryDownloads.com. Crawford, named as one of the Top 100 Christian Leaders to Follow on Twitter, serves church leaders (particularly youth workers) through his blog, and weekly podcast, This Week in Youth Ministry (available on iTunes).