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How to Lead a Ministry: 7 Tips Every Youth Worker Needs

how to lead a ministry

Many new (and some veteran) youth workers probably wonder the secrets behind how to lead a ministry. Rick Warren said, “All good leaders are good learners, and the moment you stop learning, you stop leading.” I could not agree more. I long to be a lifelong learner in a variety of areas.

For youth workers, being in a second chair where they’re not the organizational head can be tricky. So how do you lead a ministry within a larger church? Read on for key insights.

7 Steps for How to Lead a Ministry

1. Begin at the bottom.  

Most youth workers are in this gig with passion. Servanthood is foundational to the ministry, but we need a reminder that Jesus became our servant. His life, death, and resurrection are all with great service, grace, and love in heart. We need the same for students, parents, co-workers, and volunteers.

2. Put people first.

Closely connected to the first tip is the idea that people come before tasks. Some youth workers are drawn to people, but others are not. Their God-given design isn’t fueled by people but by tasks. We need to pray that God schedules our days, weeks, and months. It’s our job to take advantage of the divine appointments that come our way, making people, not personal agendas, the highest priority.

3. Build a team.

For youth ministers, this seems obvious, but it becomes difficult. We need to equip the saints to do ministry. This is how we multiply ourselves. You’ll eventually have more impact and influence by building a team you can trust.

4. Recognize and affirm others.

Encouragement has long been proven as the best way to help employees remain faithful at an organization. Of course, people are motivated in different ways, but nothing beats encouragement. Encourage by listening to a student, by comforting a parent, by carrying a student’s burden. And offer affirming words far more than sarcastic jabs. It will pay off!