“Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation.”
― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

The fact is, if you don’t train, you don’t transform. If you’re not continuing to learn and stretch, then don’t expect positive change. Ensuring that you and your team have on-going learning opportunities is key to sharpening their ministry skills and moving the ministry forward. Today, there are TONNES of training opportunities, whether online, through mentoring/coaching, events and other resources.


What is your next continuing education step? This doesn’t have to be another degree or certificate. It is an intentional step in adding to your ministry tool belt or stretching your understanding. Some ideas:

  • Have a wiser (often older) ministry colleague suggest 3 books you should read this year (and do it).
  • Hire a coach or mentor to see what blind spots you need to be aware of. (Lead222 is a great option for this kind of interaction.)
  • Check out online courses like Horizons.
  • See what upcoming conferences suit your next steps best (whether local or international).
  • Upgrade “non-ministry” skills to raise your ministry effectiveness. (For instance, I (Alvin) took a one-day course on project management to help elevate our administrative structure.)


Whether you oversee a paid staff or a group of volunteers, investing back into them is vital in their longevity as youth leaders. The fact is, many of them are giving their time and energy in stretching ways. As their leader, how you are creating space for them to grow? This could include some of the ideas above. It starts with identifying with them what their next steps are. Some could be huge (like going for a youth ministry degree) while others are relatively smaller (like reading one book). This is a conversation for you to have with them individually to see where they are headed, and helping to provide the resources and space to take those next steps. Springtime is a great opportunity to have those discussions so you can plan for them in the new ministry year.

So what are your training intentions for this coming year?