An effective youth ministries coordinator will work with other church and community leaders to address the needs of youth and maximize opportunities so that all youth grow in strength and wisdom. Youth ministry shall be for, with, and by youth. Youth in your congregation and community will grow in faith as Christian disciples.
Spiritual Gifts and Qualifications Helpful for the Job
- The youth coordinator benefits from having one or more of these spiritual gifts: servanthood, teaching, exhortation (encouragement), leadership, administration, helping, and shepherding. This leader should show evidence of passion for youth ministry, prior effective ministry leadership, and evidence of active and growing discipleship. This person demonstrates a basic knowledge of youth development.
- Useful skills for this position are the ability to listen to and communicate with people of all ages and the ability to work with other adults, youth ministry leaders, and youth. Other skills needed include the ability to delegate responsibility and follow up to complete tasks.
- This leader should show genuine interest in responding to the needs and concerns of youth in the community.
Responsibilities of the Position
- The coordinator of youth ministry will be attentive to the hopes, concerns, and needs of youth in the community to determine how the congregation might serve them and their families and how they might serve one another as Christian disciples and good neighbors. This person will identify key people in the congregation and community for collaboration and advocacy for young people’s issues.
- The coordinator needs to be familiar with the congregation’s overall goals and how they are achieved through the congregation’s ministry by, with, and for youth.
- This leader will advocate that all youth are welcome. The coordinator will raise congregational awareness of the needs and contributions of youth in the community and the world.
- The coordinator will promote the understanding of Christian vocation in daily life in work with youth, building understanding of God’s call for all Christians.
- The coordinator will advocate for quality leaders and excellent mentors who encourage young people to develop their own gifts, skills, strengths, and ideas.
- The coordinator will be informed of and follow the conference child safety policies, procedures, and requirements that are to be followed by the local church.
- The coordinator will work with others to plan and carry out ministry by, with, and for youth in varied and wide-ranging programs that include worship, study, fellowship, service opportunities, and others.
- The coordinator will intentionally communicate with organizations, people, and resources in the community that relate to youth and seek to connect the congregation with the community for a strong program.
- The coordinator will guide the work of the youth leadership team (if organized) throughout the year, including planning its agendas and presiding at its meetings.
- The coordinator will work with other leaders to learn about curriculum and other resources available for youth in order to help teachers and group leaders select appropriate resources for study and growth.
- The coordinator is accountable to the charge conference through the church council.
- Find out what’s currently available for youth and young people and what youth need so that you can plan ahead. It is not necessary to duplicate or copy other programs, but seek to identify gaps where your congregation can lead the way in making a positive difference in the lives of youth.
- What’s important to young people? What issues will have an impact on their lives that they have not noticed? What’s happening in your community? What’s happening in your congregation?
- Soon after you are elected, convene the youth leadership team (if organized) to evaluate youth ministry, share hopes and concerns, and plan for your work. Or ask a group of interested adults and youth to help you plan. Share the ministry with others by delegating projects to people in the church or community who have passion.
- Study Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation, 2017-2020: Ministries with Young People.
People and Agencies That Can Help
- Your pastor, other people in your congregation and community (including young people), and district and conference leaders. As you travel, visit other congregations to observe ministries for, with, and by youth and young people.
- Discipleship Ministries, Division on Ministries with Young People, umcyoungpeople.org
- InfoServ, the information service for the church, provides current information about United Methodist resources, programs, and staff services. Email: [email protected]; Website: infoserv.umc.org.
Web and Print Resources
- Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church by Kenda Creasy Dean (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010)
- The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2016 (Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 2016)
- devozine, devozine.upperroom.org (devotional magazine written by and for youth)
- Everyday Disciples: Covenant Discipleship with Youth by Chris Wilterdink (Discipleship Resources, 2016)
- Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation, 2017-2020: Ministries with Young People (Cokesbury, 2016)
- Interpreter, www.interpretermagazine.org
- Jesus-Centered Youth Ministry by Rick Lawrence et al (Simply Youth Ministry; Revised edition, 2014)
- The Leadership Lab: A Leadership Development Resource for Senior High Youth DVD by Hank Hilliard (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2011)
- OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook by Kenda Creasy Dean (Abingdon Press, 2010)
- Safe Sanctuaries®, www.umcdiscipleship.org/leadership-resources/safe-sanctuaries
- Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church for Children and Youth by Joy Thornburg Melton (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2008)
- SEX: A Christian Perspective on Our Bodies Decisions, and Relationships for 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Youth by Jeremy Steele (Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2014)