Somewhere along the line, many of us learned to gauge our youth ministry success by attendance numbers or how much we can raise for the next mission trip. But do those measurements show if you’re leading an effective youth group? How do you know if your efforts week in and week out are making the eternal impact that you hope and pray for?
Markers of an Effective Youth Group
First, let’s define what an “effective” youth group is. If the main goals of youth ministry are to guide teens into a loving, lifelong relationship with Christ and teach them to go and make disciples, then an effective youth group does just that!
Here are some other defining characteristics of an effective youth group:
- Students are actively growing in their love for Jesus.
- Students are gaining deeper understanding of God’s Word and how to apply it.
- Students have been trained to share the Gospel message, and many are regularly sharing their faith!
- Lost teens in your community are being prayed for, engaged with, and then discipled by your students.
“That all sounds nice,” you might be thinking, “but I can barely get my students to sit through a 15-minute talk about David and Goliath on a Wednesday night.”
Sure, teenagers can be a hard group to reach, but this list of impact indicators doesn’t just come from wishful thinking! They’re drawn from the real impact of the Early Church in the book of Acts—a ministry whose disciples displayed deep love for Jesus, a full understanding of the Gospel, and a bold desire to share it with the whole world. This is the kind of culture that an effective youth ministry has, and the results can be seen in students’ depth of faith and breadth of influence in their world.
And if you’re going to measure anything numerically, try measuring the percentage of new students who have come into your group from your students sharing the Gospel with them. This is called “New Conversion Growth.” An effective youth group is one that is carrying out the last and lasting mandate of Jesus to go and make disciples!
Stay focused on building an Effective Youth Group
Now that you know what an effective youth group looks like, it’s important to keep measuring your youth group using these Biblical benchmarks. At Dare 2 Share, we call an effective youth group a “Gospel Advancing Ministry,” and one of the 7 Values of a Gospel Advancing Ministry is that “Biblical outcomes measure it.” Here is a super helpful, comprehensive guide on measuring your ministry’s impact by Biblical outcomes.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or a veteran to youth ministry, leading a whole horde of students or just a few kids in a small town. Your youth group can become the epicenter of spiritual impact for the teens in your area. You just need to know what you’re working toward and what you’re looking for on the journey toward maximum Kingdom impact.
So stay expectant about seeing major impact on the teens in your community. Stay focused on raising up students to be disciples who make disciples. And stay close to God’s heart for reaching the lost with the Gospel message!
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