The following post was written by Jeff Pratt, Director of FUGE Camps
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Every Church Can Build a Sustainable Youth Ministry – Mark DeVries
A trend that we continue to see is the growth of the part time student minister. More and more churches are moving to this model for a lot of reasons. For some churches it is a financial decision. Their budget just cannot handle the salary of a full time youth minister. For some churches it is the reality of a slow death. Because of the lack of growth in young families in many churches, they find themselves having a hard time justifying the need for a full time youth minister. On a positive note, some churches that have never had a youth program are finding themselves in the need for someone to begin working with their students. Regardless of the reason, there are many good-natured volunteers who get tagged one Sunday after church and told that they are it. They have just been given the job as part time youth director. The question that quickly arises is, what now? Where do I start?
If you find yourself in this situation I would highly recommend this article by Mark DeVries. Mark is a long time youth minister in the Nashville area and has created a succinct model that will help any student ministry get off the ground.
“Most churches have chosen to do youth ministry with a model best described as gambling. It usually looks like this: the leaders of the church cross their fingers and believe, with all their hearts, that this time the cards will fall in their favor. This time they’ll find the superstar youth director who will change everything…fast. This time when they roll the dice, if they wish hard enough, a thriving youth ministry will show up. But few people get rich gambling.”
If this has peaked your interest, then you will love the rest of this article. Remember, there is no magic system out there that will automatically create great youth ministry, but there are great principles that can be gleaned and applied to your context that will help you reach and disciple students.