Hey Pastor, Want A Successful Youth Ministry?
Brad Cooper is our student pastor here at NewSpring Church…and is one of the most gifted/anointed leaders on the planet. Since he has been with us our student ministry has grown from about 125 to over 1,000 kids every weekend…and the number of committed, sold out volunteers has multiplied dramatically.
Anytime people hear about what is going on in our student ministry they always ask me, “So, what did you do?” It’s pretty simple…
#1 - I hired a leader, someone I could trust, someone I would not have to stand beside and make decisions for. (Some pastors won’t do this because they need to be needed!) AND…I made sure he was able to assemble the team he wanted around him…I did not hire for him!
#2 - I made sure he was resourced. We don’t do car washes or bake sales…and we never have. I’ve read that over 85% of the decisions to follow Christ happen before the age of 18…if THAT ISN’T a ripe mission field then I don’t know what is. Churches don’t make the senior adults do a bake sale if they want to go somewhere…why in the heck do they make the students do it? (By the way…it’s ALWAYS been this way, so please don’t email me with, “What did you guys do when you were small?” We took care of our students…period!)
#3 - I make sure he understands the vision of our church. I spend time with him…we go to lunch, he sends me texts that encourage the heck out of me. If he ever has a question about vision…he asks me.
#4 - I spend time with the students. Every year I am our “camp speaker” for The Gauntlet...and it is SO refreshing for me to get to spend that time with the students…it is literally one of my favorite weeks EVERY YEAR!
#5 - I don’t try to do youth ministry! When I did youth ministry it was SO cool to play DC Talk, Carman and Degarmo & Key…for those that may not have figured this out yet…those days are GONE! I am NOT the expert in youth ministry…and I don’t try to be!!!
#6 - I ask our student ministry staff lots of questions! BECAUSE, like it or not…what they are doing right now is going to be what the church is doing in the next 10 to 15 years!
#7 - I give him permission to fail…as long as he fails by trying great things then I don’t have a problem with it!
Those are just a few things that “I’ve” done…which hopefully you see isn’t much!!! Hope that helps!