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Building Relationships

Entering Your Students' World

Building healthy relationships with your students is one of the most important aspects of youth ministry. When a student knows you care about them they are more willing not only to listen to what you’re saying but also to trust you...

Mandatory Mentoring

Whether you’re a full-time, part-time, or insane volunteer youth leader, you’ve heard it before. We need to be connecting with students.... It seems so basic, so foundational, and so simple but this incredibly vital and powerful action often gets lost in the midst of schedules, programs, planning, meetings, personality types, and a hundred other things.  

5 Reasons that Relationships with Students Matter

As with anything in life, relationships matter. It’s not always about what you know, but who you know. That’s true for the corporate world, for the music industry and for lots of other places in life.

When I think of building relationships in student ministry, however, the reverse is often true; it may not be our need for us to know students, but it sure is a need for students to know us.

Let’s do an experiment: I want you to think of the single most influential person in your life when you were a teen. If you are thinking of more than one person, quickly narrow it down to one just for this exercise. Now, if you are like many youth workers I am privileged to lead on a regular basis, the one person you are probably thinking of from your teen years is an adult. Hal Hamilton taught me that "a student will gravitate toward the oldest person who will take them seriously." I have found that to be the case.

Jesus built relationships with people. He had a relationship with the masses and he was publicly known. He had a relationship with the crowds and many followed him, such as the seventy he sent out. He had a personal mentoring relationship with twelve and he had yet a deeper friendship with three. It’s through the life of Christ that we see that relationships with students are important. But why are they important? Here are five reasons: 

The Love Relationship

We are often hardest on the ones that we love. I remember coming home to be with my family one night. My children, who were very young at the time, were doing something that I had asked them not to do, my wife was not doing what I thought she should be doing, and I was frustrated with a day full of meetings that didn’t go as planned.

Youth Pastor Panel: Why Networking Is Important

Networking is a common concept in the business world. It’s all about who you know, right? But often times in ministry we look at the church down the street as competition, not as someone we can learn from and grow with. Our goal as people in ministry is to bring people to Christ and to love on them. We all share that goal, so why shouldn’t we be networking together, sharing ideas and encouraging each other? We’ve asked four youth pastors with years of experience to share about their experiences with networking in ministry, read on to find out what they said.

Working Together: Building Ecumenical Relationships in Youth Ministry

I love the idea of working youth and family ministry together in partnership with other churches. Plugging into the vast amount of resources and talent that is in God’s kingdom can benefit everyone and the entire community.


Does (real discipleship) mean that when (a student) starts getting serious with that girl or guy that you need to tell some embarrassing stories about yourself? Yeah, it does. Does it mean that if you promise to be at their game on Saturday morning that you be there? Yeah, it does. Real discipleship is hard stuff.  Before you take it on....check this out....

Get Real About Your Mission: No Place to Lay Your Head...

The only real way to live out the Christian faith is to live it radically and passionately with a mission!  What a waste if it’s not!  God wants us to live with passion for Him and His purposes on the earth.  His main Cause or purpose was for His followers to bring about world-wide life transformation by expanding His Kingdom on the earth by making disciples who make disciples (Matt 28:18-20).

Do You Expect Me to Forgive You?

Do you want to promote God’s ways in the world? Then put His power on display; be quick to forgive others. That’s a real virtue. And yes, God does expect His people to forgive.

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