iheartyouthministry.com- Youth Ministry Blog

Youth Ministry Survey: Teenage Spiritual Growth

Untitled from Rob Ham on Vimeo.

As youth workers all of us have a desire to see students grow closer to Jesus and grow deeper in their faith. Even though most of us LIKE big programs and getting a huge crowd together, we really LOVE it when we are sitting eye-to-eye and knee-to-knee with a teenager as they begin to really get how much they are loved by God and then begin to pursue His purpose for their lives. 

We all WANT our students to grow spiritually…but HOW do we that within our youth ministry settings? The look/feel/design of this process will look different depending on the identity/culture of each church, but here are a few questions that all of us need to be asking ourselves often when it comes to spiritual growth in our student ministries:

1) What kind of students are apart of my youth ministry? (regular attenders/visitors/student leaders/committed Christians/non-Christians)

2) How can I create a process to move students from “just showing up” to becoming committed followers of Jesus? (discipleship)

3) How does the larger church’s discipleship process work? 

4) How can I explain spiritual growth in a simple way that my students can understand?

5) How can I get my pastor/volunteers/parents on board with my desired discipleship process?

I would suggest taking a significant amount of time to go through these types of questions with your team (staff or volunteer). Take an entire weekend and dream together with your team about what spiritual growth could look like in your student ministry setting. The more thought/time you put into developing a strong discipleship process for your students, the greater the reward. Our team at IGNITION (Daybreak Church’s Jr. High Ministry) just finished planning/dreaming up our newest discipleship process/roadmap for our jr. high students (we used the analogy of learning how to surf to describe growing spiritually). Check out the video above to see what we came up with to help our San Diego jr. high students understand our youth ministry’s process for spiritual growth. 

I’d love to hear from all of you what you have tried (or are trying) in terms of developing a strong discipleship program/strategy in your youth ministry. Share some of your thoughts in the comments section below! :D



Youth Ministry Survey On Spiritual Growth

Reading Plans For Your Youth Ministry Students!

This month our student ministry has been going through a 3-week series entitled “How To Raise Your Parents”. As I was browsing online at www.youversion.com I ran across a GREAT resource for students called the “Youth Bible Reading Plans”. Basically YOUVERSION has created a series of Bible reading plans specifically for youth.

This week on our youth ministrie’s website I posted a link to a Bible reading plan called “PARENTS” and I encouraged our students to download the reading plan on the phones and use it to dig a little bit deeper into what the Bible has to say about this subject. This could potentially be a HUGE resource for us to use in our student ministry. It’s a simple/easy/free way for our students to have a plan to read through the Bible focused around whatever series we are studying through. Check it out and let me know what you think! :D



iLIFE: Getting Jr. High Students To Grow On Their Own

Without a doubt, last night was one of my favorite youth ministry moments of the year. Jr. high students poured in to our youth rooms not to play games, not to see funny videos, but to figure out how to grow closer to Jesus on their own in their individual lives. So what did they attend? WILDSIDE’s brand new program for student discipleship called “ilIFE”. 

So what is iLIFE? Simply put it’s a program designed to encourage/empower/equip jr. high students to take the “next steps” in the relationship with Jesus by learning practical hands-on ways to grow on their own. Really it’s all about one word: DISCIPLESHIP! On of the goals of our student ministry is to give students the tools they need to grown on their own so that when they graduate from high school they won’t graduate from their faith. iLIFE’s official description is:  A FRONT DOOR PROGRAM TO HELP STUDENT EXPRESS THE 5 BIBLICAL PURPOSES IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL LIVES AND HELP THEM TAKE NEXT STEPS IN THEIR WALK WITH CHRIST. 

Here are some of the topics that we will be covering this year in the iLIFE program: 

-Foundations of our faith/the church

-Bible study methods


-Evangelism/Sharing your faith

-being missional

Last night our students learned about prayer/worship/bible study. At the end of the night we moved into a time of worship and it was amazing to watch the students in the room really begin to worship God (and know what they were doing) now that they had a deeper understanding about what worship was and who they were singing to. 

What kind of programs does your youth ministry have for moving jr. high student into disciples? Share your ideas/examples so we can all learn from each other!