I have interns now. People think having interns means you don’t have to work as hard but it’s actually the opposite. You have to work harder to make sure they know and understand what they are doing and why we do it that certain way. You have to teach and coach. Instead of just doing something like you normally would, you have to stop and explain why you are doing it. That could be a whole other post.

But I was talking to one of my interns about how to start well in youth ministry and came up with these 5 things:

Jump in – If you are excited, students will be excited. If you are “too cool” (by the way you are not) then they will think the same. Jump in the game, conversation, the service. Students will join you.

Be real – Students can sense fake-ness. It’s a gift they have. Be real with your life. Show them what healthy transparency and authenticity can do for a relationship with others and with Christ looks like.

Be consistent– True connection happens when we actually show up. It’s really hard to make a connection with someone who shows up once a month.

Be caring– Students want to know you can care. Expand your listening skills. When we listen we show them we care for what they have to say. 

Have fun– Ministry with students is fun! Don’t forget it! yes there are messy sides to it, but students are drawn to fun and we are allowed to have fun with them. Plus, fun breaks down walls and creates conversations. 

These are super simple ideas to keep in mind for those starting out in ministry but they are super effective and easily forgotten in the hustle and bustle of life and ministry. What else would you add to this list?