Must Haves for Longevity in Youth Ministry

TLH036: Must Haves for Longevity in Youth Ministry

When it comes to longevity in youth ministry there are many things that are important to consider.  If you fail to do so, you will never make it in youth ministry over the long haul.

In today’s episode you’ll find out some crucial things you need to consider with it comes to your ministry.  These will make or break you.

Links mentioned:

Benchmarks in your Youth Ministry (blog post)

Seasons in your Youth Ministry (podcast episode)

Minivan by Foreknown



Resources mentioned in this Podcast:

Consider This by Chris Trent

#Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World

Lion of War Series by Cliff Graham – Grab a free 30 trial and free download of any of the 250,000+ books available on Audible

In this particular episode, you will learn:

  • Crucial Considerations for Longevity
  • Warnings when starting out
  • Why minivans are cool…well, kinda

Show Sponsor: – Grab a free 30 trial and free download of any of the 250,000+ books available on Audible


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The Longer Haul Youth Ministry Podcast

  • Andrew Bates

    I think this is where i should reply.

    my struggle with longevity is being content with the everyday tasks that seem to not make a big difference. They tend to leave me tired (maybe even bored) and not wanting to do any more work. Especially if there is a long time between youth events.

    • Andrew I think we all feel that struggle from time to time. One of the hardest parts of youth ministry for me is that often we don’t see the fruit of what we do until they are well out of our ministry.

      • Andrew Bates

        yeah definitely. I always have to look back to the students from my first youth ministry position for some encouragement at time.

    • Chris Trent

      Andrew! Just wanted to say thanks for listening to the Podcast. I had a blast recording it with Jody. I’m with you on those everyday tasks. I’ve got one idea for you that someone recommended to me a long time ago that I still find helpful after all these years. If you don’t already have one, consider starting an encouragement file. I’m talking about an actual paper file folder that you can put notes of encouragement you receive, print out thank you emails, throw a name tag from a especially memorable trip/event/ print a group pic, etc.
      In moments of “I’m sick and tired of all of the administrative planning stuff” it helps to be able to look through that file to remember that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
      Press on my friend! Praying God’s favor for you among the students you serve with!

      • @Chris Trent:disqus That file is a lifesaver! I can’t tell you how many times over the years the contents of that file have kept me going. I have letters and cards going back to the early years of my ministry. This is great advice @disqus_Owdzi1hRh6:disqus! See Chris, this is why you’re so smart…I want to be like you when I grow old(er).

      • Andrew Bates

        Thats great advice! i had one years ago but did keep it up when i moved to a new ministry. I will have to do that again!

    • @disqus_Owdzi1hRh6:disqus can you shoot me an email with your contact info? I need an address to send the book to my friend!

  • Jeremy S. Jones

    One thing I struggle with longevity is dealing with the inconsistency of the youth. I have a hard time planning events and getting “yeah we would love that” only when the time comes they say “I can’t go cause something else more important has come u.” I know it goes back to way their parents view ministry. The parents lack of commitment is then reflected into the youth.

    • Yes! Absolutely Jeremy. We try to help that by having them put a little skin in the game so to speak. Even if it’s $1 it seems to help a little with their commitment. This can be really frustrating and discouraging though. You put a lot of time and effort into planning an event and then many just don’t follow through and show.

      • Jeremy S. Jones

        Thank you for that advice. I am going have to start doing that. It’s sad that every generation that seems to come next takes less responsibility than the one before. And thank you for putting out this information for youth pastors to glean from and for making a personal connection to each one. I know you have your plate abundantly full and for you to ad to that to be an encourager is awesome. Thank you.

    • Chris Trent

      Hey Jeremy! Thanks for listening to the Podcast. I had a blast recording it with Jody. I wanted to jump in on this comment as well and say stay the course my friend! I’m not gonna lie, even after 20 years, you’ll still plan stuff that doesn’t turn out the way you see it happening in your mind. Do honest evaluations of the event/program, but remember, commitment levels seem to be lower than ever when it comes to kids being involved. Keep your eye on your calling and on the victories. Praying God’s blessings for you.

      • Yessir. Long gone are the days where you can plan it and they will come.

    • @jeremysjones:disqus can you shoot me an email with your contact info? I need an address to send the book to my friend!

      • Jeremy S. Jones

        Jeremy Jones
        3012 Mornstar Place
        Greensboro, NC 27406

  • Joel McDonald

    So I am a little late listening to this particular podcast but it was excellent! I think the biggest challenge I have to longevity in youth ministry is that personally I feel called to pastoral ministry, and some times I wonder am I fulfilling what God has called me to do by being a youth minister?….But, the more I am in student ministry, the more that I see it is pastoral ministry, just to students, parents, and leaders……So that is a struggle that I regularly wrestle with. But great podcast, and I loved the stuff about how to be in youth ministry with a young family. I completely resonated with the comments about getting off the bus at camp and trying to get students AND your wife/kids situated without neglecting one or the other. Fun stuff. But great wisdom shared by both of Chris and Jody in the podcast. Thank you!