Episode 94 — Creating a Culture of Family

Today we continue our series “Creating a Culture of…” The most important part of being a successful youth pastor isn’t teaching, meeting with kids, or planning events. It isn’t how charismatic we are, or how big our budget is. The most important thing is building a culture, what we call the “environmental architecture of a healthy ministry. Over time, our culture becomes a living entity, a self-perpetuating lifeform, allowing our ministries to grow and flourish year after year. It’s bigger than us and bigger than our current crop of students or leaders.

For this series, we’ve identified four key elements of any youth ministry culture – fun, outreach, leadership, and family.

Today, Mathew and Steve discuss how to create a cult. (Just kidding. See our Instagram account). Actually, we saved the best for last. This one is near and dear to our hearts. Creating a culture of family is one of the things we are most committed to. The best youth ministries aren’t the ones with the flashiest youth rooms, the best worship band, or the killer speaker. The best youth ministries are the ones where every kid who comes—whether they are regulars or first-timers–feels like they are known and loved. We help create this culture by removing barriers and cliques, providing intense shared experiences, building a sense of mission, using warm and inclusive language, and developing a natural and deep vulnerability. The amazing thing is that this aspect of our culture will serve all the others, bringing kids into the fold and ultimately into a relationship with Jesus. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a family that loves everyone? Our greatest reward is when kids graduate from our ministry and tell us, “You are like a family to me.”

Always remember, “The Greatest Need of the Human Heart is to Belong.” Just remember to attribute that to Steve when you hang the sign on your wall.

By the way, we do not recommend pledging for youth ministry!

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