7 Practices

of Healthy Youth Ministry

Healthy Congregations Have:

Engaged Parents

  • Engaged parents prioritize faith development by encouraging daily faith practices especially during times of transition.
  • Engaged parents invest in the lives of their children by understanding their child’s vocation and the culture around them.
  • Engaged parents participate in worship, personal spiritual practices, and service.
  • Supportive congregations provide parents encouragement and support from other Christian adults.

Supportive Adults

  • Supportive adults develop not just short term, but long-term relationships.
  • Supportive adults deliberately invest in youth and build intergenerational relationships.
  • Supportive adults prepare for and respond to celebration, transitions and crisis.
  • Supportive congregations seek to connect every youth with at least 5 engaged adults.

Warmth, Challenge and Grace

  • Congregations share personal stories of failure, grace and joy.
  • Congregations foster an open and honest environment where youth share joys, questions, crisis, and doubt knowing God’s Word will be spoken in love.
  • Congregations are willing to engage in tough spiritual conversations.
  • Congregations create opportunities where failure is not avoided but met with grace and forgiveness.

Opportunities to Serve and Lead

  • Congregations identify gifts and skills in youth that can be used in service, leadership and vocation inside and outside the church.
  • Congregations invest in ways for youth to make meaningful contributions.
  • Congregations provide adults who mentor youth into load-bearing leadership.
  • Congregations give youth service and leadership experience with peers, parents, and supportive adults in ministry distinctly created by teens for teens.

Healthy Congregations Help Every Young Person:

Deeply Understand their Baptismal Faith

  • Youth live as forgiven sinners with the promise of eternal life through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  • Youth recognize the work of the Holy Spirit who brought them to faith, gathered them into God’s family, and works through them.
  • Youth regularly worship, study the living and active Word of God, pray together, and receive the Lord’s Supper faithfully.
  • Youth are provided with deliberate age specific opportunities to move toward key outcomes for young Lutheran Christians (Examples are outlined in Youth Ministry Teaching End Goals.)

Discover a Resilient Identity in Christ

  • Resilient youth identify with the life and mission of the Christian church and seek to serve others.
  • Resilient youth remain humbly confident in their faith in the face of crisis and transition.
  • Resilient youth can build relationships with those different than themselves and navigate disagreements in a humble, loving way.
  • Resilient youth are lifelong learners who face doubt and challenge by turning to God’s Word.

Live out their Unique Vocation

  • Youth understand their role as Christ’s hands and feet in their church, home, community, and other areas of vocation.
  • Youth reach out to their neighbor in word and deed to love and share the Good News of Jesus.
  • Youth serve and lead in their congregation and community.
  • Youth seek to be warm, challenging and grace-filled to their community and peers.
  • Youth are encouraged to pursue church work vocations as it fits their gifts and skills.

Youth Ministry Teaching End Goals

Teaching End Goals are 40 statements we pray teens know and personalize by the time they graduate from high school. As youth ministry teaches from Scripture and the Catechism teens will better understand these key tenets of their Baptismal faith.

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