Youth ministry is about community, not just about programs and activities. The focus should be on relationships. Everything else is merely a tool.
- Relationship with God: Make youth ministry about knowing God personally and intimately, not just learning about Him. Get beyond religion or a bunch of rules to presenting a God who cares about them and has their best interests at heart.
- Relationship with One Another: Face it. Most teens initially attend youth group because of their peer, unless a parent forces them to go. Purposely incorporate activities to build them into a community of believers, not just friends. Give them a taste of Body Life, what God intends the Church to be.
- Relationship with the Youth Leader(s): Trust and respect grow out of relationship, not control or superiority. Be affirming and encouraging. Truly listen to them, actively, with your heart, to their feelings and body language, not just their words. Be available. Be a friend … an adult friend, not an overgrown teenager. Be real. Be genuine.
- Relationship with the Total Church Body: This is often overlooked in youth ministry. Students need to realize that they are part of something bigger than themselves. If you don’t incorporate them into the total church body while they are still teens, why should they stay in the church when they can no longer attend youth group? Treat them like they are the church of today … not just the church of tomorrow.