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Starting A Youth Ministry. By David S. Winston Youth Pastor at Living Word Christian Center. A Little History…. In September 2009, a complete overhaul of the youth ministry at LWCC was done. We started from scratch. We had unintentionally created a culture of undisciplined youth.

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Starting a youth ministry

Starting A Youth Ministry


David S. Winston

Youth Pastor at

Living Word Christian Center

A little history
A Little History…

  • In September 2009, a complete overhaul of the youth ministry at LWCC was done. We started from scratch.

  • We had unintentionally created a culture of undisciplined youth.

  • We had to change the culture and restore confidence within the youth ministry – Not just with the youth but with parents also.

Go hard for christ youth ministry was born
Go Hard for Christ Youth Ministry was born!

“My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right had upholds me” Psalms 63:8 [AMP]

Our mission
Our Mission:

  • “To go out into all the world and raise up an army of young people through Jesus Christ that will fight against the immorality that is trying to plague the young people of this generation!”

  • LWCC- “To empower believers through the teaching, preaching, and demonstration of the uncompromised word of God, to fulfill their calling and change this world through Jesus Christ.”

Your mission vision
Your Mission & Vision

What’s your mission and vision for your youth ministry? (reflecting the main church vision)

  • What is your foundation scripture?

The basics of youth ministry
The Basics of Youth Ministry

  • The ANOINTING must always comes first! Prayer is necessary!

  • The Word is the SEED. You must continually plant good seeds even if you don’t see any change on the outside – it is God who does the work (Luke 8:11).

  • Every youth ministry/organization has a different mission and different identity; be true to who God has called you to be.

The basics of youth ministry1
The Basics of Youth Ministry

  • Establish a relatable identity for your youth ministry.

  • Cast a VISION that young people can buy into!

  • Know your young people.

    • Know where they are in life and what situations they are dealing with so you can be relevant in your approach.

  • As you tap into the anointing, the enemy will try to bring things to the surface to discourage you, but really it can help you.

The basics of youth ministry2
The Basics of Youth Ministry

  • Keep the future in mind when building your ministry. Think BIG!

  • Build your BRAND. Establish your BRAND. Protect your BRAND.

  • Gather information whenever possible (especially E-mails).

  • Constant PRAYER should go forth in this crucial beginning phase!

Connecting discipling transforming
Connecting. Discipling. Transforming

  • Youth Encounters are a great tool to help transform youth!

  • We use small groups to help disciple and connect.

  • Our social networking website helps us connect and build community. (

Connecting discipling transforming1
Connecting. Discipling. Transforming.

  • We used the Gideon/Hadassah Project to disciple youth in a unique way.

  • When connecting with youth, always be as transparent as possible! This will make them feel like you can relate to them and they will open up. Use wisdom also.

  • Events and special outings can help create community while having fun!

Connecting discipling transforming2
Connecting. Discipling. Transforming.

  • Empower youth to make their own good decisions by giving them guidelines to help them determine what the right choice is.

  • Do not develop into their prayer crutch! Pray with them and be supportive & give an assignment or clear goals.

  • Always let the WORD have the first and final say!

Connecting discipling transforming3
Connecting. Discipling. Transforming.


  • 10 Steps to making Good decisions.

  • Prayer confessions.

  • Goals and Vision worksheet.

Teaching tips no curriculum
Teaching Tips (no curriculum)

  • Make the Word “culturally relevant”. (TEACH THE WORD!)

  • “Cross the bridge” from the teaching to application.

  • Use illustrations and personal stories/testimonies. This helps them retain the message better.

  • Keep them engaged!… Once you lose their attention it is hard to get it back.

  • Do not talk over people. Remember, you must create a culture of respect.

Teaching tips
Teaching Tips

  • Teaching is series format yields the most benefit! (Ideal length: 3 Parts - Max length: 5 Parts)

  • Again, allow yourself to be transparent.

  • Often it helps to tell a youth why something is important in order to get them to “buy into” it.

  • We started a free audio Podcast. Prerecorded teachings can be streamed or downloaded. Youth are now able to listen to the teaching if they were absent.


  • When choosing a youth leadership team, choose people who are:

    • Committed

    • Passionate about youth

    • Willing to serve

    • Can be transparent

    • Will submit to authority

    • Faithful; Tithers

  • Choose a team of individuals with different gifts/skills

  • Use them as a resource (not abuse them)

  • Background checks!


  • EMPOWER: Make leaders of all youth!

  • Make leaders of those who are older and possibly too old for the youth ministry.

    • These individuals may be ready to transition out of traditional youth ministry, but aren’t ready for main service.

  • This helps create a bridge for young adults if you do not have a young adult/college ministry in your church.


  • We have various groups/ministries for youth to join:

    • Joshua Youth Choir

    • Faith Drill Team

    • Youth Drama Ministry

    • Youth Praise and Worship team

    • LITE (Leaders In Training to Empower)

  • Give leaders an opportunity to teach, contribute, and lead. (communicate with them)

  • All leaders get CD of the main sermon

Common pitfalls challenges
Common Pitfalls & Challenges

  • Know your Kingdom assignment and what is expected of you! (from your Senior Pastor)

  • You are not a counselor.

  • You are not a security guard.

  • You are not their parents so make sure you maintain your role as youth leader and spiritual mentor.

  • You get a few hours a week to make an impact.

  • Youth should always want youth to come to you, not run from you!

Best practice
Best Practice

  • Manage expectations with your Senior Pastor, the youth leaders, parents, and youth.

  • Keep parents updated frequently so they know what is going on and feel comfortable with you and your leadership team.

  • Have parent meetings and gather emails/phone numbers to keep parents updated!

Best practice1
Best Practice

  • Keep your expectations high, but don’t demand perfection (from leaders or youth).

  • Be compassionate and understanding at all times.

  • Know that some youth live a life that may be very challenging, making it hard for them to behave properly at church.

  • Youth simply model the behavior displayed at home.

Best practice2
Best Practice

  • Make sure you have proper protocols when dealing with situations that may have legal implications. (background checks encouraged)

    • Sexual/physical abuse, suicide attempts, rape, etc.

    • Make a Youth Reclamation Plan. (guidelines)

    • Establish proper boundaries

  • Set goals for your youth ministry.

  • Speak life into these young people because they are the future of our nation.

  • Always incorporate the Holy Spirit in everything you do and He will lead you!

Other notables
Other Notables

  • With Teens, you can determine the condition of a of their life & spiritual walk by the fruit produced in their lives. (Matthew 12:33)

  • Youth are not perfect, but if you maintain a standard they will rise to it!

  • IMPORTANT: Always follow the Holy Spirit. (Develop a prayer confession)

Connect with us
Connect with us!

E-mail: [email protected]

Office: (708)-697-5437