Making Goals for Your Youth Ministry

The end of summer and the start of a new school year is a time of great transition. Youth are about to begin new classes and are meeting their teachers for the year. Some may be starting to participate in activities and sports. It’s a whirlwind season. It is a time that feels much like January 1; new goals are formed and strides toward them are being made.

Thinking toward the season ahead is important for your youth ministry. Before jumping headfirst into this busy stretch, take the time necessary to create some goals.

The Idea

Set aside time to pray about what you should take on as goals. Like everything else in your ministry, make sure your goals are Spirit driven.

When looking at creating goals for your youth ministry, think about where your ministry could grow. Is it simply in attendance numbers? Is it in depth of study? How about in youth satisfaction?

Ask your youth for their feedback and work from there to decide what your goals will be.


Useful goals are well defined. Ask yourself if you know exactly what you want to achieve in your youth ministry and how you want to do it. Task yourself with asking tough questions of each proposed goal. Is it something that will stretch your ministry, or is it a goal you will easily meet? Are you going to have the time and resources to put forth toward this goal? Does it fit your church’s mission as a whole?

Spend time hashing out exactly what you want to do and how you want to do it.


Make sure you can measure your goals. How will you keep track of your progress? Spend some time defining how you are going to do so.

After you complete your goals, make sure you look at how they impacted your ministry in both a quantitative and qualitative way. From there, you can address any new problems that come about—and get ready to set your next goals!

A Calendar “Due Date”

In order to make sure you’re accountable for your goals, setting an end date for each one is necessary. A due date adds urgency to the goal and gives a strict benchmark. When do you want to start working toward this goal, and by when do you want to accomplish it? Remember to be realistic about the time frame—will this be something sustainable after you “complete” it? Make sure that your time frame includes check-ins and time to adjust!

Creating and starting toward your youth ministry goals is a perfect way to spend this upcoming season.

Want to read more about ministering to youth? Check out Connected for Life: Essential Guide to Youth Ministry.

Order Connected for Life

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Written by

Adele Werner

Adele Werner is a pastor’s wife, a mother, a third-generation Yooper, and a former content marketing specialist for Concordia Publishing House. Devoted to Jesus, she has a passion for serving others and sharing the Gospel. She is an alumna of the University of Michigan, where she majored in media and communication studies, minored in writing, and served in multiple ministries. As an avid consumer and creator of all content, she can often be found watching movies categorized as “Oscar bait,” listening to podcasts, or reading a good book.

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