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Youth Ministry Is Being Reshaped by These 10 Important Trends

4. Same-sex conversations are reaching a fever pitch.

Homosexuality, and the church’s view on it, will be a lightning rod for kids considering faith in Jesus. Youth ministries will need to lovingly converse with kids and the broader culture about the Bible’s message.

5. Professional youth ministry positions will become more rare.

Churches will increasingly alter structures so entire congregations care for young people. Congregations will rely less on paid staff. This will also be financially driven, as more churches are forced to have a leaner staff.

6. Youth workers will be older.

The stereotype of a youth worker in their early 20s will continue to fade. So will the idea of viewing youth work as a stepping stone to another pastoral position.

7. Youth workers will learn differently than in previous decades.

Until now, conferences, books and seminars have provided knowledge about the field. A future trend will involve youth workers learning together in smaller “cohorts” of up to 30 people.

8. Children’s ministry will emerge as the most strategic opportunity in the church.

Youth workers will realize that putting multiple Jesus-loving adults in kids’ lives affects the way the entire family system thinks about relationships. The best opportunity to influence families is when children are young and family relational patterns haven’t yet been established. Savvy youth workers will seek to influence children’s ministry to encourage parents to create extended family relationships.

9. Youth ministries will leverage technology to help kids process Jesus.

From elementary school age and up, kids will increasingly own smart phones and other tech. Youth workers and ministries must learn how to leverage technology to help kids integrate Jesus into different segments of their complex lives.

10. Leading churches will learn new ways to help kids serve.

The days of churches creating “service projects” for youth participants will decrease. In its place will emerge more thought-out ways that churches come alongside teens who demonstrate passion for particular causes or issues. Leading churches will dream, pray and support young peoples’ passions rather than create service projects and ask them to participate.

One thing that will never change: Adults who love young people without an agenda in the name of Jesus will always be a precious commodity. God will keep using them to help transform lives.