What are the biggest challenges for leaders in today’s church? Someone recently asked me what advice I’d give a youth worker. That’s a big question! I answered as best I could in the moment. But then I reflected a bit more and came up with five goals that apply to anyone serving in ministry.
I’m sharing these challenges for leaders so they can motivate you today. I’d love to hear what you think!
5 Challenges for Leaders to Pursue
1. Remember the necessity of regular, personal worship time.
Many of you are probably rolling your eyes. C’mon, admit it. I interact with hundreds of youth workers yearly, most often in training environments. When we open up about challenges we face, this is one of the most common. And studies back this up.
Essentially, we’ve largely learned how to do ministry without staying in close communion with God. I want to challenge you to reorganize your life. Make it your No. 1 priority to engage with God regularly in a personal time of worship through Scripture reading and prayer. See it as joy, not drudgery. It’s the fuel that will keep you and your ministry going.
2. See relationships with students not as a means to an end but as the end itself.
Relationships aren’t the way you accomplish items on your agenda. Relationship is your agenda. And not just any relationship, but Christ-centered relationship. Students will value the relationship they have with you, potentially for the rest of their lives. They won’t value the programs or events they attend. Let this truth drive your ministry philosophy.
You have the power through relationship to deeply impact the faith of teenagers. But it goes both ways. By denying relationship, you also have the potential to drive students away from church. And for some of them, that may be the only place they learn about God.
3. See every aspect of your ministry through the lens of the Gospel.
Your youth group should be a Christ-centered, Gospel-driven movement, not just a gathering of teens. Our goal should be to view everything through the lens of our brokenness and God’s unfailing desire to make us new. This message is resounding less and less with a culture that doesn’t see itself as broken or in need of fixing.
When we fail to craft ministries where everything we do is planned and executed with reinforcing the Gospel in mind, we lose what makes us unique. If youth ministry isn’t Gospel-centered and Christ focused, it’s just another extracurricular option for teens.