Investing in Students

For the first time in my ministry career, I have a full-time Youth Staff Associate!  I have had quite a few (5 to be exact) part time help throughout my 6 years at Cedar Run, but nothing quite like this.  Not only is my Associate a female which brings great balance to our youth program, but she is very well organized and creative – everything I am not.  So, I’m really pumped for her and what she is offering our program and young ladies.

Although I have been very grateful for all she has done so far, I know that she has been overwhelmed at different times since her arrival.  A big part of this is because ever since she came on board in July, she has been swamped with what people are expecting her to do.  They will stop her on Sunday morning or send her emails about what they feel her job is.  Have you ever had people try to tell you all the things they think you should be doing?  I’m sure you have because as non-mega Church Youth Pastors, we are expected to be the “All-in-One”.  We are the face, heart and soul of the ministry (thanks for the phrase Barry Hill).  Because of this, it can be very easy for us to forget what our purpose in ministry is.

During times like these we need to step back and remember the primary reason we got involved in youth ministry.  That is to invest in students and win them to Christ.  The fact is for us to do effective youth ministry, we need to be out with students regularly getting to know who they are, what they like and building trust so that you can take them deeper in Christ one step at a time.  It is NOT to be locked up in offices from 9 to 5.  It is NOT to create cool programs or events.  It is NOT to send letters out.  And it is NOT to come up with the hippest run-on characters.  Although all these aspects are important and necessary, our primary responsibility is to be with students.

So, how are you doing with that?


  1. Examine where are you spending your time.  Are you spending enough time with students or are you getting trapped doing other responsibilities too much?
  2. What could you do today and the rest of this week to invest in the youth in your program?

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