What motivates you in youth ministry? Let’s face it—it’s probably not the paycheck. Most likely, you are in youth ministry because you believe in the mission of God to live out THE Cause. As the prophet Isaiah once said, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation” (Isaiah 52:7). Being a messenger of God’s good news is why people tend to go into ministry. However, despite what may have brought you into youth ministry, chances are there have been moments of struggle when the motivation to carry on has dried up. So what can be done?
I’ve tried a lot of different things to stay motivated in youth ministry like going to a conference or taking some time off. While there is nothing wrong with figuring out ways to recharge, I’ve come to realize that the only thing that can continue to motivate is seeing the ministry produce measurable fruit that lasts. That is, there needs to be true gospel advancement in order for a ministry to stay motivated. And the beauty of letting biblical outcomes drive your ministry efforts is that they don’t just motivate you, they motivate the entire ministry! So, here are five powerful ways biblical outcomes can help motivate your ministry.
1. The Power of Story
Try This! ❯
During your next youth gathering, take time to celebrate one gospel advancing story with the youth.
Jesus was all about storytelling. When He taught people, He would almost always use a story. He knew that storytelling was one of the best ways to captivate an audience. Capitalizing on authentic, real-life stories can help motivate a ministry. When you are living out gospel advancement within your ministry, stories will naturally arise.
When God moves in your ministry, students and leaders will instinctively want to share their stories with others. However, it’s important to reinforce this outcome by creating a storytelling culture within your ministry. Do this by keeping a record of some of the biblical outcomes that your ministry is experiencing, then think of creative ways to broadcast stories to your students. For example, you could use Facebook Live and have an interview with one of your students, or pepper a story into your message. Your students and church as a whole will be inspired by the stories you tell and will be motivated to tell their own.
2. The Power of the Message
When you implement the 7 Values of a Gospel Advancing Ministry, the ministry will experience results. And who can argue with gospel-advancing, life-transforming, soul winning results? What’s exciting about this is that you will not only see lives changed, but also your message becomes validated. And when confidence in the gospel message is high, your students will be more likely to share their faith as they see the truth of the message transforming lives around them.
3. The Power of Encouragement
Pouring yourself into someone who doesn’t care or appreciate your commitment can be hard, yet it happens all the time in youth ministry. Parents, students or outsiders can be tough critics and oftentimes under appreciate the amount of effort you are putting into the ministry. While you cannot control how someone will respond to your involvement in their lives, the fruit of your ministry can encourage you. When you see a student come to the Lord or take discipleship seriously that fruit is a powerful motivation to redouble your efforts, regardless of whether your “critics” appreciate you or not.
4. The Power of Growth
There’s almost always someone knocking on my door wanting to volunteer when the church reports the gospel impact of the youth. People want to be a part of the excitement. This is perhaps one of the greatest benefits in being a Gospel Advancing Ministry: You see God move, and you see others who want to join in on the action. Biblical outcomes not only generate interest with adult volunteers, but it also helps grow the youth ministry. When youth are impacted by the power of the Holy Spirit, students become motivated to be disciples who make disciples.
5. The Power of Celebration
Sometimes churches fall into the “scolding trap.” In these kinds of negative environments, attendees come expecting a weekly boatload of guilt that admonishes them to do better and try harder. Grace, joy and abundant life in Christ get left in the dust. Celebrating biblical outcomes can transform this kind of negative atmosphere. When people begin to celebrate God’s work in and through the youth, it brings great joy and awe in all that God has done in your midst.
Having the right kind of motivation can make the difference between rekindled effort and discouragement. Click To Tweet
Having the right kind of motivation can make the difference between rekindled effort and discouragement. Driving toward biblical outcomes generates the right kind of excitement, and reminds you why you signed up to be a youth leader in the first place!
Want more practical advice on mobilizing your teens to share the gospel? All of our Mobilize stories offer great ideas for training your students and building a Gospel Advancing Ministry. Sign up here to receive this free, hands-on, weekly resource in your inbox!