Great youth workers have learned tools, ideas, and principles that work toward turning out godly youth. Following are some of these truths:
1. You get what you honor. If you brag on sports abilities, you produce athletes. If you brag on clothing, you get sharp dressers. If you brag on soulwinning, you get soulwinners. If you let non-exemplary teenagers assume leadership roles, their lives will be emulated by other teenagers.
2. Teach the teachable—reach the reachable. Take your inner core of dedicated teens and invest your time, effort, and finances into them. Train them for leadership and future ministries.
The first two years of my youth pastorate I made the mistake of spending most of my time trying to help rebels and others who were not serious. I missed the opportunity of helping some good kids become great.
3. Make your teaching balanced. Bible study—soulwinning—character training. Don’t let the teens only take-in or only give-out. When you teach them a principle, train them how to use it and give them opportunities to do so.
4. Your youth workers must be godly. They will turn out teenagers like themselves.
5. Keep the youth ministry in front of the church adults. Keep them informed and reminded of the lost condition of the city youth. Let them see the potential of the teens to be full-time workers.
6. Teach your youth workers all you know.
7. Teach teens how to find answers in the Bible.
8. Teach teenagers to be mature. Use the word maturity often.
9. Emphasize full-time Christian work. Teens must hear the need.
10. Make it clear that you agree with all church policies. This will keep teens from using you as a wedge between them and authority.
11. Things to look for in youth workers: Look for spirituality, leadership, intelligence, personality, a “can do” attitude, teachability, faithfulness, patience, enthusiasm, loyalty, and correct priorities.
12. Realize teens are easily discouraged.
13. Never call on rebels to lead.
14. Compliment teens for each victory in their lives.
15. Publicly let everyone know that there is no favoritism, but those kids that mean business will be rewarded.
16. The youth pastor and Christian school teen staff need regular meetings.
17. Learn to write many thank you notes.
18. Never collect or take money home. Have someone else do this so that your financial dealings will be above reproach.
19. Never do anything alone. Try to have a teen around. Let them see the Christian life in action
20. Define success as “not the number of years on earth, but the number of years in God’s will.”
21. Discipline disrupters individually after class.
22. The four biggest strikes against teens are rock music, media, inconsistent parents, and the public school.
23. The home, church, and Christian school are to be one in feeding the new nature and starving the old.
24. Teach on subjects that meet needs teens have and equip them for life.
25. Emphasize the reward of self-control.
26. Use visual aids and chalkboards often. Teens love humor in drawings.
27. Praise the teens. Proverbs 27:21 says, “As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.” We don’t earn the right to rebuke until we have encouraged consistently. Rebellion comes from much rebuke and little praise.