9 Ways to Start Off the New Year Right in Youth Ministry

It’s the beginning of a new calendar year.

This is the season of resolutions and new beginnings.  The truth is that for most of you, it is the middle of your youth ministry year.  No matter, January is still a good time to evaluate and try new things.

Here are 9 suggestions for your youth ministry or for yourself.  They’re little changes that can make a big difference.

  1. Pray

Such a simple thing to do, but can be hard to accomplish.  I think we get overwhelmed.

Here is my simple suggestion for you.  Each day pray for one of your students.  Write their name on your hand or stick it on your computer.  Every time you see their name offer up a prayer for them.  Even better, send them a text letting them know you are praying for them today.  Ask them if there is anything you could pray for.

  1. Parents

I hope that you take students out for coffee or coke and touch base with them.  How about parents?

Why not this year you make it a priority to take parents out to touch base with them, invest in them and have them speak into you.

I promise you will not regret doing this.

  1. Encourage

Now you might need encouragement but that is not what I want to talk about.  Make it a plan this year to encourage whoever your boss is.  It might be a senior pastor or if you are a volunteer it could be the youth pastor.

Something will happen to you and your ministry when you begin to encourage others.  In fact, if you need encouragement send me an email (tysonhowells@gmail.com) and we set up a time to talk.

  1. Plan

Pull out your calendar and map out the big picture of your youth ministry until the end of August.  Planning can be adjusted but you will thank me later if you take a day or two now to plan.

  1. Mission

Who is in your life that doesn’t know Jesus.  Make it a plan to hang out with them.

If you have no one in your life that doesn’t know Jesus, then that is very disappointing (sorry I have to be honest).  Get to know you neighbours and spend time with them.

  1. Phone

Put your phone away more often.  Look into someones eyes and talk to them.  Listen to what others are saying.

I am amazed at how much I miss because I am on my phone.  Now I am not anti-technology, but I do think it is starting to consume our lives.

  1. Read

This week, pick one good book that you plan to have read before the summer starts.  Read something motivational.  A good biography would be a great choice. I suggest Eric Metaxas’s 7 Men: and their secret to greatness or 7 Women: and their secret to greatness.  These are two simple to read biographies that will inspire you.

  1. Relationships

Who are the people that are most important in your life.  A spouse, a child, a best friend.  Invest in those relationships.  Be intentional.

Go for a walk with them.  Play a board game.  Make a meal together.  Laugh.  Talk.  Just spend time with them.  You will never regret investing in the people that you love.

  1. Bible

Change up your bible reading habits this year.  It will be a good way kick start your love for scripture or even take it to the next level.

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Tyson Howells

Tyson is the associate youth ministry director for Vanguard Youth Ministry Institute. He has been a youth pastor for many years in Winnipeg as well as in Edmonton. Tyson is passionate in seeing relational youth ministry that results in youth that are passionate about following Jesus. He still leads a small group at the youth group in his home church.