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Next Level Leaders: Principles for Sustaining a Thriving Youth Ministry Everyone wants to go to "The Next Level", but

t most have no idea what the next level is or how to get there. The next level is not a thing, personality or system, but a mentality. Its time to change the way you think. I want to challenge you to think differently about how you run your youth ministries The greatest challenge to youth ministry is sustainability

3 Principles that will Sustain your Youth Ministry: 1. Develop Infrastructure before Ideas There are a plethora of Ideas on youth ministry (its endless) Without an infrastructure, ideas will end up on a treadmill (Speeds up and slows down, but goes nowhere) What keeps your youth ministry moving week-to-week? Youth ministries are notoriously event-driven One major drawback is that after a big event (youth camp, revival, concert, etc.) excitement and purpose dies out Youth ministry is not an event, but a process

2. Simplify your Approach Sometimes its hard to keep things simple because we want to be innovative and creative. However, creativity without simplicity results in a mess

2 Issues that complicate youth ministry: 1. The Vision Virus (No Clear Vision) Sometimes we plan a series of Activities that are completely unconnected (fragmented) If you dont know where to aim, youll shoot at everything Tips for Defining your Vision: o Identify your goals Where do we want to be in 1 year? Be particular, not vague (United? In what way?) (Win souls? Where, who?) o Identify your uniqueness What gifts, passions are in your group? o Identify your targets

Campus, community, friends Find what works for you Don't try to copy other youth ministries

2. The Superstar Syndrome Youth leaders set themselves up for failure by trying to be a superstar (great at everything) o Dynamic preacher o Biblical expert o Relational o Creative (thats a big one) o Magnetic o Highly Organized o Energetic Recruit help from where ever you can (parents, youth) 3. Create a Friendship Culture Group Magazine did a study of 10,000 youth. They asked: If you were choosing a church, how important would the following things be? 1. 73% - a welcoming environment where I can be myself 2. 70% - quality relationships with other youth 3. 59% - a senior pastor who understands and loves youth 4. 21% - a fast-paced, high-tech, entertaining ministry approach A friendship culture happens when you create environments (activities) where youth can connect

2 Habits of a Frienship-based Youth Ministry: 1. Fellowship Youth tend to form cliques Plan activities where youth have to interact 2. Follow-Up Follow-up with guests and youth who are MIA) Card/letter (hand-written, not text or email) Phone call Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly... To have friends, you first must be a friend. Creating a friendship culture is not like Adding a Friend on Facebook. It actually takes effort and purpose.