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    6 Ways to Encourage Your Youth Leaders!

    Last week, I was talking with one of our youth leaders, Kris, about having a heart for youth ministry. Kris was asking me what she should be doing more of now that she’s certain youth ministry is where God wants her. My very first answer? Pray. Pray all the time.

    You see girls, youth ministry is an all-out fight to death between God and Satan. It is one of the most desperate battlefields in the war between God and the devil, and Satan will stop at nothing to win. The average length of time men and women last in youth ministry is 6-12 months. That’s how hard the battle is. After that, many youth pastors and leaders are so tired and discouraged that they either leave ministry completely or move on to another area of ministry.

    Good youth leaders know the temptations and struggles that youth face every day. We determine to fight alongside you and for you through prayer, teaching and counseling. We work hard to show you love–God’s as well as our own. You are important and you are the future!

    One thing I’ve learned about youth is that you’re great at encouraging others! So here are some ways you can encourage your youth leaders:

    • Pray – The No. 1 way you can encourage your youth leaders is to ask how they’re doing and how you can pray for them! If you already pray for your youth leaders, tell them! It does us good to know that you’re standing with us in our fight.
    • Volunteer – Youth ministry is hard work–there’s always something to set up or get ready. Ask your youth pastor if there’s anything you can do to help. Maybe you can set up chairs for youth group, help set up a game or just help make new people feel welcome. Even if they don’t have anything for you to do, I promise your youth pastor will appreciate your offer.
    • Write a note or a card – Speaking as a youth pastor, I LOVE when students drop me a note just because. So write an encouraging message or find an uplifting Scripture for your youth leader. Leave it on their desk, on their car or even on their Facebook wall!
    • Come prepared – This one’s huge! Come prepared to learn. As youth pastors, we spend a lot of time preparing the sermons and teachings you hear each week. It takes a lot of prayer, studying, reading and research to plan the things we teach and it makes us really excited when students come ready to learn what God wants us to teach you. Before you leave for your next youth group, grab your Bible, a notebook and a pen, then find a seat in the front row and soak up what God has put on your pastor’s heart for you! You will be a source of great joy and excitement for your youth pastor and for God!
    • Show up on time – When we arrive late for things, people turn around to see us enter and it disrupts the flow of an event or service. Once interrupted, it can be hard to get students’ attention back into worship or teaching, so do your best to arrive on time!
    • Sign up and pay early for events – This might seem like a strange thing, but when your youth leaders have to constantly remind you to sign up for things or have to chase you down because you haven’t paid for an event, it really makes us feel like the “bad guys.” We don’t want to nag you or bother you for money that you’ve already agreed to pay, so get those things done as early as possible!
    • Speak well of them – This is an issue of respect and honor. If you have good youth leaders, let the way you talk about them reflect that. If you’ve ever sat and listened to youth pastors talk about their students, all you would hear is bragging. We brag about your growth, talent and humor; we brag about everything that makes you great! Please respect us enough to do the same.

    What do you do to encourage your youth pastors and leaders?

    First of all, then I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

    Jenn Arman
    Jenn Arman is a youth pastor, freelance writer and blogger. She was born in San Diego, California and raised 2 hours north east in the Inland Empire where she lives with her husband David and their cats. Jenn desires to bring glory to God and a healthy dose of reality to Christians through both writing and preaching. Visit jenniferarman.com for more on her work. You can also connect with her on www.facebook.com/JenniferArman.Writer and https://twitter.com/JennArman

    10 COMMENTS

    1. I am so happy that my youth leader has been part of my church for about 4 years now. To encourage my youth leader, I show up early, and I help her out every time we have youth group. Our church now has an organization started were us who attend youth group can help plan activities and help input some of our own ideas into it(:

    2. I love my youth leader, she knows how to be a kid yet is mature when necessary. I’ve been on two missions trips with her as a leader this summer and have realized that she is human, just like me. I feel bad because I have spoken badly of her recently because of this… She really loves Jesus though and I’ve learned so much from her! Right now she is serving In Africa and I pray for her every day. Thanks for the article. (:

    3. My youth Leader is amazing, you can really tell he has a big heart for all of us teenagers. Even when we get a little too crazy at times. But we have this thing called “Youth Leaders” whitch is something where the youth pastors picks some youth and they help out with all sorts of things. So he can have time to focus on what he needs to focus on. But this is an eye opener, I realize I do need to pray soo much more for them then I do. So thank-you! (:

    4. My youth pastor is new, and very different than out old one. A lot of people don’t respect him as much because of this… I, however, think he’s such a great and humble man. I really appreciated this article, and I might share it along with some of my fellow youth 🙂

    5. It definitely is a tough battlefield. Recently, our youth leader decided to focus on other things. Because she has a huge heart, my mom volunteered to take over. She already has so much going on and is trying to really bring together our youth group. I’ve asked her if I could take more of a leadership role, to help her out. I think that I would be really good at leading devotionals and just talking to the youth as another teenager. However, I’m really not sure how to start and I’m a little afraid to lead. With my being another teen and some of them older than me, I don’t want to come off as arrogant or put them off. Any advice?

    6. i was blessed to have a youth pastor dedicated to youth ministry and who has been serving since before i started going to church (6 years ago) although our youth group has had many others leave after only a short time of leadership or like you said stop serving in that position or serve in another (not that there’s anything wrong with changing areas of service if youre not called to serve and/or minister there)
      speaking as a former youth leader and someone who is now very close with my former youth pastors, i definitely agree with the coming prepared part. coming ready to learn, hungry for more of God and His Word means so much and is so uplifting to those ministering.
      also, speaking well of them. (i didnt grow up in the church and started going when i was in high school and as i got more involved and talked to friends at school about church and stuff, i noticed a lot of bad talking about the youth pastors of the local churches. it was despicable. it reminded me of how my peers (teen girls) would gossip about people, and i saw that at times it was harmful to their ministry. the bible says so much about honoring those who minister and those in authority over you. i wish young people who obey God in this area more.
      also, volunteering/serving. ministry should never fall completely on one person. we all have gifts and talents and at least the ability to help out, even as young people.

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