Let Go and Let Youth! -Why Youth Led Ministry

How many things do you do before, during and after your youth events? During the week? Throughout the year? How much relies on you?

As the leader of your youth ministry program you have many responsibilities. There are many things that rely on you. But should they?

Attending a recent conference I was introduced to one phrase which has resonated with and haunted me at the same time.

“Don’t do anything that a student can do!”

I’ve similarly heard from Andy Stanley something to the effect of, “If you are doing something in ministry that someone else can do, you may be keeping them from the ministry God has called them to do.”

But that’s crazy talk right? You are the one responsible. The success of the program is your responsibility! If it fails it is your fault!

Matthew 28:19 says –

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

We are called to make disciples, not to make great programs. And you cannot make disciples by having those disciples watch you do everything. It’s like a coach who demonstrates to his team how to throw free throws, but never lets his players actually try. They’ll never learn!

“But I can’t put students in charge.. what if it fails, what if… they don’t.. do it like I would do it”

GREAT! It’s not about you,  your program, or your way. It’s about giving youth a safe, encouraging environment where they can be free to learn, to succeed and yes even to fail. Cause when we fail, we learn, and when we learn we do it better the next time.

Here are a few things I want to turn over to youth..

– Leading Worship – This is hard for me because it’s what I do, what I love. But we have some insanely awesome and talented youth who can lead 2-3 songs every week.

– Screens – No need for me to type in words, choose backgrounds, load videos or run screens during the service..

– Series Planning – I asked youth what issues they are facing that we should consider sermon/small group series on. They came up with several I had would not have though of. If you are wanting to reach youth, include them in your series planning.

– Set up/clean up – Easy to let a group of youth who want to help out this way.

– Leading games – Give them a book of games, or a few websites for reference and let them come up with your next game night.

– Member Care – I have a few youth who send cards for birthdays, sympathy, get well etc..

This is just a short list of ways youth can lead in your ministry. Add others in the comments section.

Now do not think you can turn everything over to youth and then go on vacation. Your job actually get’s harder, not easier. Stay tuned to the next post “Equipping Youth To Lead”



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