Go ahead and take two minutes to describe your youth ministry.

How did it go?

Every youth ministry has an identity. The question you need to answer is, “How clear is your youth ministry’s identity?”

Do you know it? do others? Is your youth ministry doing what you hope it would do?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to look at the type of ministry God has called you to lead.

To truly understand your youth ministry you need to understand it’s identity. To understand it’s identity you need to know the main components that shape it. The 4 components that are essential to your youth ministry’s identity are a(n):


If your ministry is going to be a movement it needs a destination. To get people on board and investing you need to give them a clear picture of where your ministry wants to go. Decide what it is God is calling your ministry to do. Describe what that looks like. And then communicate it like crazy.


It’s not just where you want to go, but how you are going to get there. Your mission explains to people how you’ll reach that destination. It’s your behavior and your values all mixed in one. Your mission tells people what you need to do in order to succeed.


Your ministry’s identity depends on who you are trying to reach. You could try to be a youth ministry for all teens, but you’ll struggle to be efficient. Focus on a group that has the potential for the largest impact on the surrounding community. At first you’ll draw a select crowd; however, over time your mission will reach more and more.


Your values dictate how you behave, and what’s important to your ministry. What you value is based on the characteristics of it’s leadership. When you gather people together with similar values your youth ministry will work well together.

Recruit people with similar values and raise like minded leaders. You’ll not only improve the quality of your ministry, but increase your effectiveness. A ministry that is confident in it’s values is one willing to take on big challenges.

Your ministry’s identity is essential to it’s growth. Without an identity your ministry will just exist and eventually burnout. Take some time to sit with your leaders to discern the vision, mission, target audience and values. The work will payoff.

What other attributes are important to a youth ministry’s identity?