If you're discouraged with your youth ministry please read this...

Over the last quarter of a century I've talked to thousands of discouraged youth leaders. I've met them before, during and after our events (and countless others.) Some are discouraged by the apathy of their teenagers. Others are discouraged by the church situation they are in ("Fix-my-kid" parents, dysfunctional leaders, lack of budget, etc.) 

But, underneath it all, there's a deeper, more tragic reason for the discouragement beating in the hearts of many of these youth leaders. The dog that gets kicked is the youth group or the puny budget or the micro-managing pastor. 

But the real problem is systemic. There is something broken in youth ministry and we all, in our most painful moments of quiet reflection, know it.

Typical youth ministry done in the typical way is churning out the same typical results, the same results it's been turning out for decades now. The only change is that our spiritual results are getting worse. Between the forces of packed-to-the-ceiling academic/sports schedules, a crack-like addiction to technology and a growing suspicion of all things absolute, teenagers have been increasingly just not showing up to youth group. 
Continue Reading...

3 reasons you must take the time to build a highly effective student leadership team

I'm always surprised when I talk to a youth leader who has no student leadership team. Think of Jesus, just hanging with the crowds, and not investing in the disciples. 

Continue Reading...

Train your teens to share their faith using the shockingly beautiful Silhouette Gospel video!

I'll never forget seeing The Silhouettes from America's Got Talent Season six. I was absolutely blown away.

Continue Reading...

7 compelling reasons you should stay in youth ministry

Youth ministry can be highly rewarding and highly discouraging...sometimes all within the span of an hour. Helicopter parents, apathetic teenagers and eye-rolling, finger-wagging church leaders can all combine to become a slow-moving vortex of depression that churns deep in the soul of the average youth leader.

So why stay in such a low-pay, high-pressure position? Why not escape to get a "real job" in ministry, a job where you are loved and respected...and where the pay is more than the typical Barista's?

Here are 7 compelling reasons to stay in youth ministry:

1.  Teenagers come to Christ quicker than adults.

According to Barna 2 out of 3 people put their faith in Jesus by the age of 18. After that, the odds go way down. In the words of my grandpa, "Get the gettin' while the gettin's good." And the salvation gettin' is good before the age of 18

2.  Teenagers spread the Gospel faster than adults.

Because the average teenager has well over 400 online and face-to-face friends they have a huge (and growing) opportunity to share the Gospel like no generation before them. Generation Z, the nickname for this generation of teens, is filled with "Digital natives." They're called this because they've never known a time without digital devices and social media. And because of this they have an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the spread of the good news through their many social media channels.

Continue Reading...

Why it's urgent for the church to take youth ministry and teenagers seriously

If you're a pastor, church leader, youth leader or parent I am pleading for you to take youth ministry and teenagers seriously. I'm convinced that the right kind of youth ministry is necessary now more than ever before in our history as a nation.

If you are a parent to a teenager make sure they're involved in a solid youth group. If you're a pastor of a church make sure your youth leader is leading in a way that reflects  truly New Testament values (not just fun, games and a short Bible lesson.) If you're a youth leader build a Gospel Advancing, disciple-multiplying youth ministry that is thriving for all the right reasons.

But for this to happen churches must begin to take youth ministry seriously and view it as strategic. We shouldn't underestimate it's importance. For instance, some churches subtly de-prioritize youth ministry by bundling it under family ministry and, slowly but surely, teenagers stop showing up because the focus has shifted. When this shift happens (usually showing itself in a huge focus on children's ministry and a dwindling focus on teen ministry) it's obvious to everyone...especially the teenagers.

But where most churches ultimately demonstrate their lack of passion for youth ministry is in their annual budget. D.L. Moody once said he could tell more about a person's priorities by his checkbook than his prayer book. In the same way I can tell more about a church's priorities by their annual budget allocations than their mission statement and stated values. Sadly, youth ministry is usually one of the most underfunded areas of the church. And these numbers show the church's view of youth ministry.

So, allow me to make a case as to why its more urgent than ever for the church to take youth ministry and teenagers seriously. Here are 4 reasons:

Continue Reading...

Turn your teenagers into Gospel Activists!

"Activist: a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change."

Continue Reading...

Why youth leaders should NOT be afraid of the future (in spite of all the scary statistics!)

"Do not be afraid." Jesus 

Continue Reading...

How to run an effective youth ministry for $1.99 a week (plus tax)

No, this is not a joke.

Continue Reading...

5 surprisingly simple ways to have a great big spiritual impact on your teens this school year

It's that time of year where Alice Cooper weeps (school is no longer out for the summer), parents rejoice and teenagers have to start getting up early again.

Back to school is back with a vengeance and everyone, especially youth leaders, have been scrambling! Programs are being perfected! Curriculum is being purchased! Adults are being recruited!

But, even in the midst of all the Fall kickoff mayhem, back-to-school can be a great time to get back to the basics of youth ministry. These basics are rooted in Scripture and absolutely necessary for true spiritual transformation.

With this as a backdrop, here are 5 surprisingly simple ways to make a gigantic spiritual impact on your teens this school year:

Basic #1:  Cover them in prayer.

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,  for which I am an ambassadorin chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."  Ephesians 6:18-20

Continue Reading...

7 sure fire ways to VASTLY improve your youth ministry impact

I believe that every youth leader worth his/her salt wants to make the biggest impact possible in the lives of their teenagers and in the communities in which those teenagers live. But how can that be done effectively?

Continue Reading...
Get on the LTC Insider List and get a free ebook!

About Me

Hi, I'm Greg Stier, CEO and Founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries. On this blog I share personal experiences about life, ministry, and how we are mobilizing teenagers across America to share their faith. I would love to connect with you. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook or join a move of God at Dare 2 Share.

Interested in having Greg Stier speak at your event? Please fill out the Speaker Request Form.

Subscribe below and get a free copy of my latest book!

Read my latest book for free! Subscribe below.

Recent Posts

New Call-to-action
Come see Greg Stier speak at Winter Jam
Get the eBook - 4 Tactics to Advance the Gospel on Social Media
Download a free resource to help students share Jesus at school