Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders Teen Ministry Often Falls Short: Discover Some Reasons and Fixes

Teen Ministry Often Falls Short: Discover Some Reasons and Fixes

Yes, evangelism is a big deal. It should be a primary focus. I’m not advocating kicking evangelism to the curb. But in our lust for numbers, we’ve forsaken the gospel. We are making fans, not disciples.

A supervisor once told me, “I don’t care if you just sit around and eat donuts. Just get students in the room and do something.”

Discipleship takes time, but youth pastors have a short leash. Unless they grow the ministry fast, they’ll be looking for another job. So many of them aim for quick growth instead of long discipleship. They do that for the sake of keeping their job and feeding their family.

Sure, that approach may lead to a larger student ministry in the short run. But then we’re producing shallow disciples who don’t last in the long run.

Jesus often turned away crowds to focus on his disciples. And it’s no coincidence that the disciples, not the crowds, led the church to change the world. Crowds fell away when the journey got hard, while Jesus’ disciples persevered until the end.

2. We fund adult ministry but ask students to fund themselves. 

If you want to know how much a church values students, follow the money. Most student pastors are expected to work long hours for little pay and pull off large events with no budget.

It’s not uncommon for a church to give 10 percent to foreign missions, 70+ percent to adult ministries, and less than 5 to teen ministry. Congregations fund other programs but ask students to hold bake sales and car washes to cover their needs.

If you truly value teen ministry, put your money where your mouth is. Fund them!

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brandonhilgemann@churchleaders.com'
Brandon has been on a ten-year journey to become the best preacher he can possibly be. During this time, he has worked in churches of all sizes, from a church plant to some of the largest and fastest growing churches in the United States. Brandon writes his thoughts and ideas from his journey at ProPreacher.com.