A kid 29 days into youth ministry named Destin came up with a great question today. He said, “I think I was tricked into “youth” ministry – I got into it because I love students but I keep hearing so much about volunteers and my team, it seems like my ministry is really to them.”

And I think he hit the nail right on the head. I saw a dramatic shift in my ministry about 5 years in – I couldn’t do it alone and I couldn’t be everything to everyone. I had to work on building a core group of leaders and invest in them so they could minister to students. Every moment I spend investing in a volunteer or a member of my team is time invested into students, just not directly.

Youth ministry in the new paradigm is not about a youth worker and 30 kids he or she barely knows. It is about a youth worker investing in 10 leaders who knows 3 kids deeply. That is the ministry of the “youth” leader – sorry if you were deceived into thinking it was something else.