Home Youth Leaders Youth Leader How To's How to Get Students Serving in Your Church

How to Get Students Serving in Your Church

Every youth minister feels the pressure to have a high energy youth program in their church. But if you really want the next generation active and involved, it’s by getting them serving inside the church.

When others see the next generation serving inside your church, it will:

• Motivate others generations to get involved.

• Bring a new life to the parish.

• Advocate the importance of youth ministry for your church community.

To get teenagers involved, you need to look for opportunities where they can serve. Once you’ve established those areas, it’s about taking these five steps:

STEP 1: LET THEM KNOW THEY CAN

If a teenager is not invited to serve, they will assume it’s not an option. Make it clear where they serve in your church and what it entails. Explain to them that they are not only the future of the church, but the present. Simply make it available to them.

STEP 2: MAKE IT SIMPLE TO GET IN

Many times a teen will not get involved because they feel like they are signing their life away. Make it simple by allowing them to try it out once without committing. Just ask them to:

• Show up

• Shadow someone

• And think it over

Then follow up and discuss their options. Then make sure you follow up and follow through. Don’t leave them hanging.

STEP 3: PARTNER THEM UP

Teenagers have a lot on their plate. Even if you make serving simple it can still feel like a big commitment. Partner them with another teenager or adult to keep them accountable. It’s showing them they are a part of a team and teaching them about accountability.

STEP 4: HAND THEM RESPONSIBILITY

A teenager will serve for the long haul if they feel like they have ownership. Start out small by giving them a simple task. Let them fail a little and pick them back up. Giving them responsibility will show them that you believe in their ability. It will also show and build trust.

STEP 5: GIVE THEM VISION

Cast vision so teenagers can see the bigger picture. Remind them that God has designed them to serve and love others. If teenagers understand the greater purpose, they’ll deepen their commitment. Repeat this vision to them as much as possible.

If you get teens involved in your church, you’ll breathe life back into it. But make sure you set them up for success. Create the right steps to get them involved. Invest in them and watch them grow as disciples.  

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chriswesley@churchleaders.com'
Chris graduated from Xavier University in 2003 with a BA in Communications: Electronic Media. He moved to Baltimore in the fall of 2003 where he served as a Jesuit Volunteer for a year. During that time, he was a Case Manager at Chase Brexton, met my wife Kate and felt God's calling to Student Ministry. In the summer of 2004, heI was hired by the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as a Middle School Youth Minister. Today he oversees grades 5-12 as the Director of Student Ministry.