Youth Leaders

Youth Ministry:  Recommended Reading List
(An important part of loving our teenagers is trying to understand who they are and how they think.)

Battle Cry For A Generation, Ron Luce
o    This book describes the fight against sin we must engage in to save America's Youth.

Family-Based Youth Ministry, Mark DeVries
o    Young people belong in the life of the church & the church belongs in the lives of its youth.

Hurt, Chap Clark
o    Author spends a year with high school students – getting into their world.  He discovers a sub-culture of American teenagers that feel abandoned and isolated by adults.

The Blessing, Trent & Smalley
o    Jacob received a wonderful blessing from Isaac and it changed his life forever.  This book explores the importance and the numerous ways we can bless our kids.

***The goal of mentoring is to help the kids build a deep and meaningful relationship with God, to prepare them to study the Bible, and to get them ready to make their own decision to make Jesus Lord.  Build for the future - you want to help this child become an adult Christian who will stay faithful, contribute to the body, and impact the world. 

Getting Started as a Mentor

  • It is preferable (but not necessary) to already have a relationship with the child and his/her family.
  • Communicate with the youth ministry leaders and/or shepherds about the kid(s) you could potentially mentor.
  • Make sure you are Kingdom Kids approved and complete a driving application.

Building a Relationship

  • Building a strong relationship and great communication with the parents is crucial.
  • Once you beginning mentoring a child, please arrange with their parents to have a meal together with the child and his/her parents so you can all get to know each other.
  • Then work to build a relationship with the child, spending time on the phone talking and having fun together.
  • The relationship should be one of fun.  It is as important as any other discipling relationship in the Kingdom.  Keep in mind that this may be the first experience these kids have in any discipling relationship, so make sure that it is excellent in every way!
  • Be sure to follow all Kingdom Kids guidelines.  Although not required, you may want to have another disciple with you when you spend time with your child.  The best way to accomplish this is to hook up with another mentor and take two kids together with two mentors.  Be sure when doing this that each mentor is spending time with his/her child (not just having the two kids hang out together).  The goal is for YOU to build a deep and trusting relationship that will see them through their Bible studies into becoming a disciple.
  • You should meet with your child once a week for a fun activity, dinner or lunch with their family, or attend a youth ministry event with them.  You need to commit to meeting with the child at least every other week with weekly phone calls.
  • Until you build a trusting relationship, you should initially stay close to their house.  You could play a game outside their house or go to a nearby park or fast food restaurant.
  • When setting up times together, it is important that you let your yes be yes and let your no be no.  Do not cancel times you have planned with the child unless your reasons are of dire importance and you have exhausted all other possible ways to work it out.  If you do cancel, communication is important with both the child and the parents.  Set up a new time to get together immediately.
  • There should be at least one church-planned youth ministry activity per month.  Although mentors are not required to attend, this is a great opportunity for you to spend time with the child.  If you cannot attend, be sure to follow up with the child by asking what the event was all about.

Character Studies

  • The character studies are for children who WANT TO STUDY THE BIBLE.  Do not study with them simply because he turned 12, his parents told you to do it, or you decide that it's time.  Our goal is to develop kids who decide they want to pursue a relationship with God.
  • Character studies are enclosed in the mentoring packet.
  • Be sure to read the introduction to the character studies and the "how to use character studies" sections.
  • Character studies are not necessarily done in order.  Pick the topics that your child may need the most help with during that particular time in his life.
  • As you build this relationship, it is important you (the mentor) share about your relationship with God including quiet times, answered prayers, and victories.
  • Help them to see that your decision to become a disciple is the best decision you've ever made!
  • As you begin the character studies, be sure to communicate with the parents about the direction you heading with specific studies.
  • Encourage your child to begin to build relationships with the disciple teens.  This will become very important as they get closer to beginning the studies to become a Christian.
  • As the child matures, it may be time for him to begin the Foundations of Faith (First Principles) studies.  This is different for every child and getting advice is crucial. 
  • It is important to involve other disciple teens, youth leaders, youth workers/shepherds, and adult Christians in the Foundations of Faith studies.
  • Seek advice!  Make it your goal to communicate regularly with the youth ministry leaders about the progress of the Bible studies. 
  • Enjoy time with the child you are mentoring!  See how God has called you to be a part of this tremendous opportunity to eternally impact a young person's life. 


Safety trumps fun!

  • Appropriate supervision, ratios
  • Safe driving, seat belts etc.
  • "When in doubt, leave it out"

Be reliable!

  • Do what you say you'll do
  • Be where you say you'll be & on time

Keep parents in the loop!

  • Consistent communication
  • Be respectful
  • Empathize

Set guidelines for confidentiality

  • Establish with both parent and child BEFOREHAND
  • Respect privacy
  • Never promise to keep confidential anything that would endanger the child's safety or well-being



Be the peacemaker-greet everyone with a smile; set a tone of peace and faith that whatever the conflict, it will be worked out.

Listen-hear what they have to say; take brief notes if necessary; try to determine if the conflict is directed at you or something else (conflict at home or school???)

Be humble-admit your mistake and apologize if you caused hurt feelings or embarrassment

Clarify miscommunications-find out exactly what was said and done; do not assume you know what all parties are thinking; correct any wrong information

Keep good records-if you have a problem, document dates and specific behaviors; record facts not feelings or opinions

Involve the teenager-let the teen tell his/her side of the story; ask questions in a non-threatening way; this may help parents see the problem in a new light.

Be confident-explain your strategies and choices without abandoning your belief system; be clear about your goals for the child.
*You should be seeking advice and seeking to learn about the special challenges of teens, in general, and of this child in particular.
  Establishing a great relationship with the parents will prevent many conflicts.

Strive to find cooperative solutions-work together to find ways to handle the problem; offer to have a follow-up talk and maintain consistent communication.

***Remember, the youth ministry is a tool used to help teens love God.  Ultimately, however, parents are responsible for the spiritual training of their children.


  • Has a consistent relationship with God (prayer, Bible study, purity)
  • Desires to build relationships with teenagers, not just participate in activities
  • Perseveres even when times get tough-will maintain commitment to the youth
  • Has vision for others, sees potential in people
  • Desires to teach others what he/she has learned
  • Strives to learn and grow; is not independent
  • Respects confidentiality; is discrete
  • Values accountability in his/her own life
  • Understand the responsibility to be a positive role model
  • Is honest and reliable
  • Has a heart for this age group and the challenges that come with it
  • Is respected by both teenagers and parents
  • Takes initiative, has a servant heart to meet needs

    The following are helpful but not necessary:
  • Was converted as a teenager and remained faithful
  • Financially responsible



  • Find a mentor for your child
  • Monitor your child's behavior in church activities
  • Help your child with his/her daily personal relationship with God through prayer and Bible study
  • Have family devotionals regularly
  • Set a Godly example
  • Provide rides and money for activities
  • Oversee and encourage the relationship between your child and his/her mentor
  • Regularly communicate with Youth Shepherds
  • Don't over-schedule your child (don't require your child to baby-sit younger children during important activities etc., and help your child make time for weekly meetings with his/her mentor)


Youth Workers:

  • Give input and help run middle and high school activities
  • Have a discipling relationship with at least one child
  • Have Bible Studies with middle and high school students
  • Attend meetings related to youth ministry
  • Occasionally teach classes


Youth Shepherds

  • Aid parents in accomplishing their responsibilities
  • Plan/execute/oversee/chaperone youth activities
  • Work together with youth workers and provide support
  • Help with Bible Studies



  • Have a discipling relationship with at least one child
  • Meet on a weekly basis with the child
  • Provide friendship, spiritual guidance, and someone to talk to for the child
  • Occasionally asked to chaperone special events, like retreats & monthly devotionals, especially when the child they are mentoring is attending



  • Obey their parents
  • Respect authority
  • Live as disciples
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