Youth ministry is a dynamic, vital part of the church. High School ministry targets those typically 14-18 as they gain new understanding, independence, and desire deeper exploration of their faith. While every youth ministry will look different, LCMS Youth Ministry has defined Seven Healthy Practices of Youth Ministry which identifies both congregational practices as well as desired outcomes for young people.
The Seven Healthy Practices of Youth Ministry are…
- Warmth, Challenge, and Grace
- Supportive Adults
- Engaged Parents
- Opportunities to Serve and Lead
- Youth who Deeply Understand their Baptismal Faith
- Youth who have a Resilient Identity in Christ
- Youth who Live our Their Unique Vocation
The structure of youth ministry will change with number of teens, access to resources, community context and programming. However, it looks, high school youth ministry supports the unique developmental needs of teens. High school is a time of growing responsibility, big decisions and preparation for what it means to be a healthy and faithful adult. It become important for teens to be connected to peers, parents, supportive adults and to have opportunities to serve and lead in the adult life of the congregation.
Congregational youth ministry should receive attention and energy from the congregation, while still incorporating young people in the life of the church. Care should be taken to ensure proper risk management is used, including background checks and training in caring for youth is crisis. High school youth ministry can also be a fantastic way to connect with other congregations on the circuit, district and national level. Larger events like servant events, district retreats, and the LCMS Youth Gathering can bring added energy and deeper connection to the youth ministry throughout the year.
The vast majority of those who work with youth are not professional church workers, but volunteers. You may be a church professional, or perhaps you are one of those countless volunteers who bless the church with your service. Whatever your role, we hope these resources can assist you in better ministering to an important part of the congregation’s population.
YouthESource provides free, doctrinally reviewed resources for congregations to use in their Jr. High and High School youth ministry. It has Bible studies, devotions, supports for youth leaders, and more.
Timeless Truth: An Essential Guide for Teaching the Faith
Timeless Truth: An Essential Guide for Teaching the Faith helps faith leaders focus on equipping students for lifelong learning as they ask the big questions throughout life and look to the timeless truth of God’s Word for answers.
End Goals Podcast
End Goals is the podcast of LCMS Youth Ministry in the Office of National Mission. LCMS Youth Ministry Staff discuss practices for healthy youth ministry and interview practitioners who provide insight for experienced and new youth leaders.
A Youth Ministry Manifesto
An online pdf version by Rev. Dr. Terry Dittmer.
Connected for Life
This book provides guidance, encouragement, and advice on leading a youth ministry that supports young adults in their faith for life.
This book begins with an introduction to Eutychus, who is a paradigm of adolescent development. The book chapters are divided into three sections: 1. An overview of youth, youth ministry, and spirituality. 2. Lutheran theology’s unique contribution to youth ministry. 3. Putting Lutheran theology’s strengths to work in youth ministry.
In the Image of God: Gender & Sexual Identity
Available from CPH, this little book, geared toward youth and sold in packs of 20, gives you the answers you need to approach questions about gender and sexuality from a godly, loving perspective.
Sexuality Mentality: Creating a Culture of Biblical Integrity
Available from CPH, this book encourages parents, pastors, teachers, and youth workers to have honest conversations with teens about pornography, self-pleasure, homosexuality, modesty, the value of human life, and sex.
- LCMS Youth Ministry
- LCMS Youth Gathering
- LCMS Youth Ministry Facebook
- LCMS Youth Ministry Twitter
- LCMS Youth Ministry Instagram
- YouthESource Facebook