31 Aug 2017

How to set goals that will transform your youth and your ministry

Written by Scott Petty

Where do you want your young people to be at the end of their time in youth ministry?

The answer to that question will help you set some specific goals which will shape some of the programming decisions you make, including the sorts of topics you cover in your main meetings or small groups.

In some ways, I think goals are a bit of a work-in-progress. When we first had a crack at coming up with our goals we forgot to include our fundamental and primary desire: for our group members to have a vital, living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Fail, epic fail! However, when we were thinking about goals in consultation with our youth leadership teams, we quickly discovered this deficiency and made a relationship with Jesus our number one goal.

Again, there are probably many possibilities when it comes to setting your goals for your people by the time they graduate from your youth ministry, but it would be worth thinking through these areas:

The Bible

What do you want them to understand and know about the Bible?

The gospel

What do your young people need to understand and be able to articulate about the gospel?


How do you want your youth to be engaging with their non-believing friends, family and other contacts?

Christian living

In what areas of struggle, temptation, decision-making or just general Christian living do your young people most need to understand the Christian response? And what sort of strategies do they need to develop in order to honour God in their lives (for example, at home, school, sport, parties, with boyfriends/girlfriends; in relation to work, money, leisure and conflicting matters)?


How do you want them to operate in relationship to their Christian community?


Is Christian or community service something that’s important for your young people to be involved in?

You can probably think of other categories or goals you’d like to set for your group members. As I’ve said previously, goals are in many ways a work-in-progress. As you go along you might identify further weaknesses in your group members or your ministry that need to be addressed. But without aiming at something, there’s every chance that you’ll hit nothing.

FromTactics for Teen Ministry
Written by Scott Petty, Tactics for Teen Ministry is your resource for building a vibrant youth ministry that is focused on growing disciples of Jesus. This in-depth book will help you to set up solid structures and practices which can be easily evaluated, refined and reshaped. Buy the book.

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