Wednesday, April 6, 2011

4 levels of youth ministry

On Monday, I sat down with my intern Andrew and we discerned what God wanted for the youth ministry we are serving.   We dug deep for hour talking about several things.  So far this is what we have come up with so far.
1. Socialize
2. Fellowship
3. Disciple
4. Missions

We discussed how too often that churches focus on the first level.  Youth ministries too often confuse socializing with fellowship.  We try to make it fun and inviting, but true fellowship that is outlined in Eph. 4 and 5 never happens.  And that is why in our view that students leave the church after graduating high school.  We focus too much on the fun times and making sure everyone is happy.  

The Second level is fellowship.  Biblical fellowship is both vertical and horizontal. When we are saved, we are brought into fellowship not only with God, but with all others who share this same salvation in Christ.
Acts 2:42 "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
But the problem is that too many times our students do not experience this.

The third level is becoming disciples.  We discussed that to be a disciple of Christ means that you must study His Word, and live the Word. As a disciple of the Lord, you will be asked to spread His Word regardless of the sacrifices and the personal difficulties you will have to endure.  And we often don't get our students to this point.

The fourth level is mission.  We are called to to go to all nations in the Great Commission.  We preach Matthew 28 all the time but at most we take a out of country mission trip or a one week trip in state.  And thats what our students see as going into the world.  They do not see that their family and friends are part of the Great Commission.

As we dive deeper into this, I will continue to elaborate on this...Please share your thoughts....


  1. Thanks for sharing. My only comment is to remind everyone that "hanging out" is essential for building relationships, and relationship is essential to what we seek to accomplish in ministry. There is no fellowship or discipleship without relationship, and nobody understood that better than Jesus. He spent 3 years "hanging out" with some friends...

  2. Carl I agree with you completely, but I feel that youth ministries sometimes focus too much on hanging out and miss the building of fellowship and discipleship on top of it....