Five Priorities We Promote In Youth Ministry

A few years ago the board of Young Anglicans Project agreed on common values and priorities for youth ministry.  Since Young Anglicans Project exists to advance youth ministry across North American Anglicanism, we see the following as essential to healthy ministry to teens in the church.
1. Proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ… The gospel needs to be proclaimed frequently, clearly, and without assumptions. The gospel is not simply the means of salvation; it is the truth that transforms our lives. That we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus is the most important truth to communicate to students. We never outgrow our need to hear the good news!
2. Engaging students in scripture… God reveals himself through his word and informs us on matters of salvation, the Christian life, and ministry. Therefore we must rely on the Bible for God to speak into the lives of students.  That cannot happen if we never open it with them or if we don’t teach them how to read and understand the word of God. The implication here is that the old traditional youth talk consisting of some stories and points that we dream up and link to some passage or verse is not sufficient. We need to open scripture with teens and show them what it means and how we live it out.
3. The local church… Students must be integrated into the life of the church! Youth groups should never become a parachurch ministry, segregated from the rest of the congregation.  Young people need intergenerational relationships and the church needs to know and love its youth. This is also a key way for our ministries to reflect the Anglican ethos of our churches.
4. Building healthy relationships… A vital aspect of good youth ministry is relationships.  We as youth leaders need to build community among the youth so that they can grow together and learn to care for one another. This helps them learn how to be the church and experience intergenerational dynamics.  Youth leaders must learn to love and care for students without infringing on parents or peer relationships.
5. Reproducing leaders… Youth ministry must be shared in the congregation, engaging as many as possible in this ministry. It’s not healthy for the church to rely on one or two people to do all the youth work. Leaders need to reproduce, meaning enlist and train others to minister to students. Additionally, students need opportunities to develop leadership gifts and should be offered training and roles in the church to exercise these.