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Are You Willing to Count the Cost of Youth Ministry?

Jan 20 2017

Often times one of the most influential parts of an active, growing church is their youth ministry. The future of The Church lies in the hands of the ever-changing, unpredictable youth that are seeking purpose and direction in life.

It is with this in mind that every youth ministry requires a response to the same, age-old question: How do we successfully raise up the next generation of leaders?
Hours of planning, plotting, and scheming can bring forth fresh ideas and new incentives. But perhaps there is another question that should be asked long before we promote the next random food-eating contest or dodgeball competition: Are we willing to do whatever it takes to connect young people to the message of the Gospel?

To know if we are willing, we need to ‘count the cost’. Here are some practical ways to know if you are willing to ‘count the cost’ of leading a multitude of preadolescent and pubescent young adults:


1. Be willing to get pumped

One of the most fun (and somewhat risky) parts about serving with youth is that ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. Literally anything. You have got to show up expecting the unexpected and ready to get your hands dirty. Youth ministry is all about embracing your inner-youth and getting a little wild. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

The Young & Free team thrive off of The Pump Factor. The Pump Factor is a simple equation: When your enthusiasm exceeds your ability to perform a given task

This basically means that you are so sold out to what you are a part of that you are compelled to complete any challenge you face at all costs. It’s risky, it’s exciting, and it stirs purpose in the depths of the soul.

2. Be willing to work overtime

Youth ministry is NOT just a Wednesday/Friday night service or a Sunday at church. These might be the ‘focus’ points of your leadership team, but you must come to terms with the fact that youth ministry will essentially become a part of your entire life. Signing up for youth ministry means signing up to driving teenagers home, answering 2am phone calls, picking up extra shifts at work to make up for petrol expenses, various stops at McDonald’s, and a lot of surprises.

But here’s the best part- sacrificing your finances and your time will come second and third to the most important non-negotiable of all: Becoming a youth leader is something you should feel called to do. It’s going to require something deep inside the depths of your heart to come alive at the very thought of raising up the next generation of world changers for the life-transforming Gospel.

3. Be willing to commit

The young people that are walking through your doors are coming in with brokenness, baggage, and a desire to be loved. If you want to see Youth Revival become a reality, then you’ve got to be willing to develop the next greatest teachers, preachers, business and political leaders. The life decisions that the youth are making today will affect the rest of their lives.

Being called to raise up these leaders means that you are sold out for their growth and development. They need someone who will cheer them on in the good, the bad, and the ugly. Your goal, as a youth leader, is to create Christ-like, purpose-driven young leaders that will lead the world to the foot of the cross.

They’re not always easy, but they’re always worth it. Count the cost, and together we will see Youth Revival take place through a generation that is raised up to pioneer the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


This thought was originally shared by our Hillsong Youth leadership team at our Online Open Week in August 2015. Online Open Week is your opportunity to receive impartation and training direct from the Hillsong team through live webinars.

If you would like to find out more about future events and discover other benefits of Hillsong Leadership Network, click below.