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Youth Leaders Need These 10 Traits for Ministry Success

6. Youth leaders need a strategic vision.

What’s the long-term plan for your youth ministry? Where will your ministry be in three, five, and 10 years? Good planning, goal setting, and clarifying the values and mission help youth pastors define where they’re taking the program.

In Making Vision Stick, Andy Stanley writes: State the vision simply, cast the vision convincingly, repeat the vision regularly, celebrate the vision systematically, and embrace the vision personally.

7. Youth leaders must care for adult volunteers and staff.

You take care of your people by providing them resources, recognition, and respect. Thank people a lot, both privately and publicly. Find many ways to say thank you. Caring for people brings health, and health breeds health.

8. Youth leaders need endurance.

Youth ministry requires long hours. The daily, weekly, and monthly schedule has many pressures, stressors, and demands. Those can cause you to run empty emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually. This is unavoidable. And it’s why only 30% of ministry leaders last.

When extremely tired, you must dig deep. Reach into your reservoir of energy and creativity to handle crises (because a lot will occur). Physical fitness helps improve endurance and mental performance.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. Acts 20:24, NIV

9. Youth leaders must be excellent communicators.

Youth pastors must be meaningful, passionate, understandable, and impactful communicators (both written and verbally). When communicating, you’re responsible for inspiring, motivating, and influencing parents, students, church staff, and adult volunteers. So be clear, short, and simple.

10. Youth leaders must master time-management.

Finally, accept that youth leaders are busy. Without discipline, your schedule will own you. So include a day off, with time for reflection and strategic planning. Staying busy and working long hours doesn’t equate effectiveness. Staying focused and doing less for more equals effectiveness.

What thoughts on youth ministry leadership would you add? What do you do that creates a healthy, sustainable youth ministry?