How to Tell If Your Youth Leader Is (or IS NOT!) Really Awesome!

    Do you have a great youth leader? Most of us would probably answer “yes” for a variety of reasons! Here are some standards by which you can measure the awesomeness of your youth leader!

    • Do his/her words and actions match? This is HUGE! It all adds up to integrity and trustworthiness! Does your youth leader’s life match the words he or she preaches? Mistakes happen because youth leaders are also human, but mostly their words and actions should match. If they do, then your youth leader is on the road to awesomeness! If however, your youth leader preaches on Sunday about how God’s people should not drink alcohol, but you saw him or her on Saturday night having a few beers, then he or she may have an issue with integrity. If this is the case, you should discuss it with a parent or another trustworthy church leader and they can help you handle the situation.
    • Does he/she maintain appropriate contact with the youth? Within the youth group where I serve, we try to maintain gender specific contact (guys with guys and girls with girls); that’s how we choose to make sure our contact with our youth kids is always appropriate. Of course all, the youth leaders give the kids hugs, but if a guy leader is giving a youth girl a hug, they always give a “side hug” so there isn’t even a hint of inappropriate contact. Your youth leader may do things differently and that’s okay as long as it is appropriate and you feel safe and comfortable.
    • Does he/she encourage unity with the whole church or just within the youth group? If it’s with the whole church, congratulations, your youth leader is proving that he or she is awesome! If your youth leader only encourages unity within the youth group, there may be an issue. While unity within individual ministries is good, unity with your entire church as well as the whole Body of Christ should regularly be encouraged.
    • Are you learning from him or her? Does he or she teach the Word of God? Does he or she plan activities and outreaches that are fun but also help you practice what you’ve learned? For example, if your youth leader is teaching you about serving people like Jesus did, does he or she follow up with ideas of ways you can practice that kind of service or an activity that involves serving others, like feeding the homeless or offering to clean the church?
    • Does he/she confront people or problems in the youth group when necessary? This can be a difficult one for some youth leaders. For most of us youth leaders or youth pastors, we love our youth kids and the desire God has put in our hearts is to see all of His kids saved, loved and living out God’s plan for their lives. It can be scary confronting youth about problems, because what if they never come back to youth group, or worse, what if they leave God entirely? What do we leaders tell God when we have to answer Him about how we ran His youth group? Confrontation can be hard, but it is part of the job of a youth leader because it helps maintain unity and encourages personal and spiritual growth in you!

    Here are some warnings your youth leader is NOT awesome:

    • They do not teach from the Bible
    • The promote hatred of people instead of hatred of sin
    • They constantly betray your trust
    • They touch or speak to you in any inappropriate ways
    • The encourage or teach anything that goes against the Word of God
    • They gossip or speak negatively about other people/leaders in the church

    Always remember this about your youth leaders: We are only human. We will make mistakes, we might hurt your feelings (we don’t mean to!) and we don’t have all the answers, but we’ll do everything we can to help you grow in your relationship with God.

    Girls, can you think of more ways to measure the awesomeness of your youth leaders? Tell us what makes your youth leader awesome (or not!)!

    An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach…but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money (1 Timothy 3:2-3).

    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 for more on her work. You can also connect with her on and


    1. Oh my gosh! I remember my old youth leader and he was absolutely terrible. I don’t even understand why he was the youth leader. He treated everyone in the youth group like we were in military school. He never got to know us personally (which I’m actually thankful for), he made comments that made us (especially the girls) uncomfortable, and he acted inappropriately by making people do push-ups when they were talking! Sometimes this talking was necessary in the middle of a Bible study because we’d be trying to find a Bible verse or we were wondering what something meant. He would immediately judge us and I hope other girls my age have not had to deal with a youth leader like the one I once had.

    2. I give one of my youth pastors “regular” hugs (as opposed to side hugs) but that’s just because he’s my favorite pastor (haha, is it wrong to pick favorites?) and I love hugs. I don’t think he feels awkward or anything, though… I hope not, anyway. XD

      But yeah, I guess you could say I have 3 youth pastors: there’s the main one, the “assistant youth pastor” (though he normally just does middle school), and then one who does kids all the way from birth till college.
      The main youth pastor is new, but I know that he’s very nice and loving, and he’s a great evangelist.
      The assistant pastor, he’s the one who’s my favorite. 🙂 I’m not gonna say he’s perfect, but that’s what I like about him! He’s always the first to admit that he sins and hardly ever talks about what others do wrong without saying that he’s done it, too. In other words, he’s definitely not a hypocrite! He’s taught me more than anyone has EVER taught me before, so I really look up to him (even though I don’t get to see him as much since I moved up to high school).
      And then the other one: I’ve known him since I started going to my church, and he’s also very influential. He focuses a lot on “less talk, more action.” He’s always very real and teaches us to get up and actually start doing something! He’s an incredible leader.

      Basically, I love my whole youth administration!

    3. We are currently lacking a youth pastor because he moved to a different position in the church… but I like our youth minister and our intern! They used to have some problems with favoritism, but they’ve gotten better about that. My only problem now is the fact that we have three topics 1. Reading your Bible 2. Spreading the word in your school 3. Sex and dating. That’s all they ever preach on now…

    4. I was never in youth group but I remember when I was in sunday school in 5th grade, I had a teacher that scared me SO much. I don’t even know what he did. He just scared me. And then, after 5th grade was over he transferred up to 6th grade! Instead of sucking up another year with him I stopped going to sunday school (mom knew how much he scared me). This led to years of not going to church and then… well I was reunited with God in 9th grade… so um… make sure your youth leader is good….

    5. my youth leader is awesome. hes really funny and he has a strong testimony. he wasn’t supposed to live, but he did (his mom smoked when she was pregnant and he was really small and sick when he was born. he was the 5 child but all the previous ones had died except for him). he had a bad childhood and did drugs but he converted to Christianity and was a youth leader in hollywood before he came to my church. he even met the bodyguard for brad and angelina. the bodyguard was christian but he was to afraid to witness to them. my youth minister also likes to throw eggs at us, but its really fun

    6. I think this is great! I am going to be starting ministry school to be a youth leader in a few years, and I think these are some great guidelines. Luckily, my youth leader is AWESOME and a reaaly good example for me to follow.

    7. My youth leader meets all the ‘awesomeness’ requirements. He’s gone through a TON of stuff in his life, but he’s clung to God and gotten through it all. I am guilty of giving him ‘normal’ hugs, but that’s just because he’s a great guy, and has a ton of integrity. His daughter is even in our youth group, too.

    8. my youth group leader is like,super awesome! he’s so cool,he’s like 40 or 50,but he lets us call him by his first name,Chris,instead of saying Mr.Chris. he gives all the youth a high five,and gets to know us personally,and he puts allot of his life expeirences to his lessons on the Bible. if one of the youth members is sick,he sends us get well texts. he’s always got a Bible verse if we are strugling with something. i’m going to be in my youth group for a couple more years,and i couldn’t have a better youth group leader!

    9. You guys are so blessed. I’ve never been a part of a youth group or anything like that. Hopefully I will be able to convince my pastor to implement one at my church. Although I’m leaving for college in a few months, it would be good for those younger than me to be a part of one. And it’d be great if the youth leader is how the article describes!

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