Youth Ministry Tips: Making disciples not attracting attendees.

In making disciples we have got to grab ahold of this truth - growth happens best in a group.

If someone wants to be a better basketball player, they don't just shoot hoops alone in the driveway they join a Basketball team. (A small group consisting of a coach and 12 to 15 players) 

If someone wants to be a better painter, they don't just purchase some paint supplies and become Picasso alone in their room. Instead they take a painting class. (A small group consisting of a teacher and 12 to 15 painters) 

If someone wants to grow in their walk with Christ, they don't just go to a church or grab a Bible and start reading it. If they want to grow they get involved in a small group led by a seasoned Christian and 12 to 15 other believers. 

Youth Pastor grab ahold of this truth. Growth happens best in a group. 

If you want your teenagers to grow, give them a group to be a part of. 

One of the greatest things we have ever done to make disciples in students ministry is Turn Life. Turn Life is a four week small group that teenagers go through to get a firm footing in their walk with Jesus. 

Turn Life has taken on many forms through the years, to fit the culture of the church we served in however, this is how we serve teenagers at TheCHURCH with this disciple making tool. 

Turn Life meets from 6:30 to 7:05 every Wednesday Night before our normal ECHO youth service. In a small group setting with a group leader, video message, discussion time and prayer, teenagers discover four key foundational steps in walking with Jesus. 

Wk One:
How to keep serving Jesus, even when the feelings are gone.

Wk Two:
How to read and understand the Bible.

Wk Three:
How to walk in victory over sin.

Wk Four:
What to do when they mess up.

Every student that completes the Turn Life program, is invited to a special graduation ceremony. The ceremony takes place during one of our weekend services. Students make a public profession of their faith in Jesus, we pray over each of them, and give each graduate a new Bible. 

In 20+ years of serving in youth ministry we have had over 1,100 young people graduate from our discipleship program. Several of these graduates have gone onto serve as youth pastors, executive pastors, senior pastors, and missionaries; while many more have grown into faithful spouses, christian parents, and christ followers in the work place. This is the goal of youth ministry - helping teenagers grow into fully devoted followers of Jesus long after they graduate High School. 

Of course we have done and do many other things with our students to continue their personal pursuit of Christ. However, we found that a four week small group like Turn Life was a great first step in the journey. 

If you would like more information about how you can build disciples not just attract attendees, email me at I'd love to connect with you.