Youth ministry can feel a lot like a treadmill where no matter how hard you work you never end up where you need to be. Most of us know this we just don’t know how to stop the busyness.

The answer is in taking intentional time to step back, analyze our progress and reflect on our direction. And when we take a step back it’s important to ask:


How are we growing?

You want to know how because it’ll determine your effectiveness. Now before you go on gut feelings or polling teens try these three approaches:


If you’ve been in the trenches too long it’s difficult to get a fresh perspective. There are men and women who are walking in with a fresh look that can help you see those areas you are missing.

Maybe you’ve missed those areas because they haven’t been a priority or you assume no one else notices. There are areas we miss too because we innately understand them while it’s not clear to an outsider.

If every quarter (3 months) you sit down with your new volunteers you’ll be able to catch a lot of those missed opportunities and small threats. To capture the right information ask them questions like:

  • What’s been clear and what’s been confusing during your time here?
  • What’s been your biggest struggle adapting to serving in the ministry?
  • What is one thing you’ve learned that you wish you knew before jumping in?

Make sure you delegate this responsibility to another leader. This way they won’t worry about hurting feelings or holding back. Take their feedback seriously and look at ways of implementing it into your ministry.


You could be hitting your goals but the question that you need to answer is, “At what cost?” Too many times we shoot for efficiency when our goal should be effectiveness.

When you look at the impact you need to know if your goals are:

  • Aligned with the overall vision of the church and ministry
  • Creating competing systems with other ministries
  • More work than the fruit they are producing

If you find yourself unhappy with the results then don’t be afraid to readjust your goals. If you have to take a different approach it means you are taking seriously what works and what does not.


On top of taking time to recaliberate with your team it’s important to refuel with God. If you are always going 1000mph you’ll hit burnout and find yourself ineffective.

During transitions take time to go away on retreat, revisit your spiritual habits and allow God to pour into you. Seek His guidance so that you know you are still following His call.

When you intentionally take the time to answer the question, “How are we growing?” you create a pace that is manageable for you and your team. And with a healthy pace you can continue to grow a healthy ministry.

What are you intentionally growing your ministry?