When ministry gets tough who do you lean on?  Is it your spouse?  Family?  A good friend?  It’s great to have someone outside of your ministry to lean on, but it’s just as important to have a team of people you can lean on that’s inside your ministry.  That team is your core team and every youth minister needs one.

Without a core team you can feel isolated, overwhelmed and even burned out.  Your ideas will grow stale and you’ll find yourself doing the same things and making the same mistakes over and over again.  A core team will not only strengthen your ministry, but you as a leader.  So, how do you build one?


Every core team should be made up of dreamers and doers.  People who will help you get the job done and think beyond your limitations.  Think about where you are on the spectrum of doing and dreaming.  Find people who will help you find balance and at the same time push you to go beyond your comfort zone.

Start developing an idea of the personalities, skill sets and gifts you want your core to embrace.  Make sure you aren’t just looking for groupies who will pat your back and tell you, “You are the best man.”  While they need to be affirming they are there to help you grow.


Usually the best place to find your core team is within your ministry, but let’s say there aren’t any viable candidates.  Ask your pastor or coworkers to introdue you to people.  In other words make sure you are seen.  Spend time talking with parents and see if they know of people have a background in coaching, organizing volunteers or managing others.  Not only will you get some new prospects but it will encourage you to reach outside of your comfort zone to build a well rounded team.


Your core team should not only be competent but committed to the vision God has placed on your ministry.  When you are interviewing possible candidates for your core team make sure they are enthusiastic and excited by the vision.  To help them get there make sure you have a clear vision statement.


Treat your core team like you would yourself.  That means investing in them by sharing with them podcasts, books and articles that you read.  Take them to workshops and conferences. Make sure you are showing them what you know as if they were the person replacing you.  When you invest in your core team like you’ll find yourself giving them responsibilities that will lighten your load and increase your capacity. 


Your core team should feel like a family.  That means you are getting to know what they like, who they love and where they’ve been in life.  It’s sharing with them the non youth ministry side of your life and trusting them.  Pray with this team, break bread with this team and continue to get to know God with this team.  The stronger the bond a core team has the stronger the youth ministry will be.

A core team is as simple as gathering a group of like minded people who love God and are all about the vision.  It takes clarity on what that team should look like and a little investment to help them reach those expectations.  If you have that core team I guarentee you will never feel alone.

What else would you suggest goes into a core team?