Signs of a Relational Youth Worker

Signs of a Relational Youth Worker
Doug Fields

The healthy youth ministries I’ve observed are all relational by design. The foundation is adult team members who go out of their way to express love to students. A youth ministry strategy becomes irrelevant if it isn’t built on a foundation of love. We’re never more like Jesus than when we love others. Students don’t really remember our great Bible studies, but they do remember being loved. To be successful in youth ministry, you don’t have to wear the latest clothes or enjoy the latest music-you just have to love students.

Here are 4 qualities your leaders should grow toward:

Remember names. I know remembering names is difficult work, but it tells students they are important and value. You can only say “Hey Dude” so many times before they know you don’t remember their name.

Go to the student’s world. They go to their sporting events, plays, and performances to show they care.

Look for ways to be verbally encouraging. At school, students are put down, made fun of, and ridiculed. Even their best friends do it in the guise of kidding, but it still hurts. Students crave genuine affirmation.

Keep your eyes open. I tell our leaders to focus on a few students that God has entrusted to their care, they need to keep their eyes open for those on the outskirts who aren’t connected.


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