For many youth ministries, the kick-off over the last two weeks exudes energy and excitement, but as students and leaders start to settle down that excitement won’t last. So how do you support students and leaders into the “meat” of the ministry season?

How do you make sure your leaders are cared for? Sometimes (I’m guilty of this many times) as leaders, we focus so heavily on the program and logistics that we tend to treat people as mechanisms of the program rather than as people with other interests, anxieties and responsibilities. While you may not be the primary support person, ensure they have some kind of support system outside the youth leadership team—others they can both encourage and be encouraged by.

How are your students cared for? Depending on the size of your group, you may not be able to support every individual. (You could argue that even if you had three or more of you, it’s better not to be the sole faith-support system for those students.) Do they have other peers who they can encourage and be encouraged by? Are other adults (outside of the youth leadership team) praying for each student and the overall ministry?

How are you being cared for? Sometimes you feel like you’re giving and giving, then you start feeling drained. Who else are you connecting with outside of the youth ministry context whom you can encourage and be encouraged by? Do you have a group of people praying for you? Do you have someone mentoring you?

Notice a trend here?

  • Youth ministry can’t be the centre of your world (nor should it be); Jesus is our center.
  • While programs and logistics are important, they cannot be the sole focus for the youth ministry.
  • Ensure people are cared for, especially within the church at large and beyond.
  • Model this as best as you can not for their sake, but for your own soul.

What else would you add?