Signs of a Failing Student Ministry

SIGNS OF A FAILING STUDENT MINISTRY BLOG POSTI have been a part of four different youth ministry’s in my experience. I grew up in youth group, I worked in a youth group for 4 years while in college. Then, I have been a pastor of two different youth groups. In each of my experiences, there are signs that the group are setting themselves up for a successful ministry, but sometimes you can see some flaws that the youth ministry is heading for an epic fail. I know that all of us desire to have a successful ministry, and I want to share a few signs that of a student ministry that may determine if you are on your way to an epic fail.

  • Sign #1- Program Driven– This is easy to do. Many youth pastors fall into this unintentionally. It can be accidental. It is easy to get so wrapped up in the program that we forget to be gospel and relationship driven. Do not get so busy doing ministry that you forget the point of the ministry.
  • Sign #2- Entertainment Driven– I see some youth pastors spending all of their time planning events and games, and barely spend anytime studying for their message. Trust me, I have done this a time or two in my ministry. I focus on the entertainment side of youth ministry and our youth service that I spend little time on message prep. This is a sign that things are not headed into a good direction.
  • Sign #3- The Youth Pastor has stopped growing personally– When the leader ceases from growing, the ministry ceases from growing. This is why we as youth pastors must commit to consistently growing. Make your daily time with quiet of the utmost importance.
  • Sign #4- The Student Ministry is internally based– When you stop focusing on the people outside of your youth group, this is a sign of a failing youth ministry. You must be concerned about outreach, and getting the Gospel out into your community.
  • Sign #5- Negative Leadership– Look, if the youth pastor and the leaders only focus on the negative, there are problems. I have tried to focus on the positive and surround our leadership team with positive people. If you and the leaders only get together to discuss problems, and never wins in your ministry, you may be on your way to a failing ministry.

Question: What sign would you add to this list?

Published by Josh Evans

Josh is the connections pastor of the Oakleaf campus of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. Before that, Josh had been a mentor and pastor to students for 10 years. Josh is passionate about empowering church leaders to make a difference. Josh and his wife Abby have two children. You can connect further with Josh on this blog or send him a direct email at

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