How to Build a Laser-Focused Youth Ministry
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.
Helping youth leaders empower
students to reach their world.

How to Build a Laser-Focused Youth Ministry



A light bulb can brighten up a dark room. A laser can cut through steel.

Light bulbs disperse soft light in every direction for a short distance. Lasers can only be focused in a single direction, but theoretically, one beam can travel infinitely.

In the same way, your youth ministry is either a laser or a light bulb.

Laser-Focused Programming

After His resurrection, Jesus gave His disciples a laser-like focus to “go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19). The book of Acts is the working out of this mission in real and tangible ways. The apostles kept gospel advancement—both internally, into the hearts of their people, and externally out into the world—absolutely central to all they did.

Of course, any light in the midst of the darkness is a good thing. And 60-watt light bulb ministries do shine some light, but sadly, that light often can’t be seen outside the youth room meeting on Wednesday nights.

But if you pour your efforts into building a laser-focused youth ministry, watch out! Expect explosive impact. When you run everything through the filter of your love for Jesus and your drive to help every teenager within your “Cause Turf” (and beyond) encounter Him, exciting things happen. Teens grow deeper with God as they go wider into the world with the message of His love. So use your laser to cut out the lesser things from your programming and calendar so you have time to focus on the most important things.

What Powers Your Laser?

Since lasers require more power than 60-watt light bulbs, it’s essential that you pay attention to what’s powering your laser. The famous missionary Hudson Taylor, once reported:

Since the days of Pentecost, has the whole church ever put aside every other work and waited upon Him for ten days, that the Spirit’s power might be manifested? We give too much attention to method and machinery and resources, and too little to the source of power.

Make room for the power of God in your programs by making room for prayer in your programming. Incorporating times of prayer into your ministry will help keep your laser powered up with the juice it needs.
Make room for the power of God in your programs by making room for prayer in your programming. Share on X

2 Chairs Prayer

This week, carve out some time on your rundown sheet to have students specifically pray for one of their lost friends during your meeting. Below is one creative idea for programming this prayer time, or feel free to use a different approach that better fits your group’s culture.

Try This! ❯

Carve out some time this week to have students pray for one of their lost friends during your meeting. Try the 2 Chairs Prayer Activity.

Gather your students in a large circle and place an empty chair in the center of the circle. Ask your teenagers to visualize that one of their friends who doesn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus is sitting in that chair. Take a minute and have each student silently pray for their own friend to come to a place of faith in Jesus. Then gather your students’ attention and place a second empty chair next to the first and ask your student to visual themselves sitting in that second chair next to their friend having a conversation with them about Jesus and His gospel message. Spend another minute with each student silently praying for that conversation to happen. Challenge your students to come back next week ready to share a story about what they tried to actually make that conversation happen and what happened.

There are far too many nice little 60-watt ministries that do nice little 60-watt activities and get nice little 60-watt results. Time to break out the laser. Time to power and program your priorities.

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