Philosophy of Ministry

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In searching for a youth ministry job, my dealings with churches have included a question about your philopshy of ministry. So what is your philophy of ministry?
Here is mine: (what would you change, add, or delete)

I believe that ministry should be intentional, relational, Christ-centered, transitional, and supplemental. It is in the building of intentional relationships that the best chance for ministry takes place. If we want our kids to stay in church, it will not be programs that keep them there. A life long, life-changing relationship is what will add staying power to the lifespan of that young person's commitment. We build relationships with the teens by immersing our lives in their world, meeting them on their turf, attending school sponsored events, meeting them at school for lunch, etc. Another key aspect of relational ministry, is the building of a Youth Ministry team. Christ had a leadership team of twelve men. He spent considerable time with them, teaching them, equipping them, modeling how to live, and loving them. I believe that Youth Ministry works best when there is a community of committed Christians with a heart for young people, eager to serve.

            Jesus was the presence of God in the world when He walked the earth, and as His disciples, we should be the hands, feet, and voice of Christ to those we minister to. In today's culture, people are looking for authenticity in the lives of those that claim to be a Christian. As a minister of the gospel of Christ, I believe that we are to live transparent lives, allowing people to see the heart of Christ in everything we do.

            The writer of Hebrews urged his readers to "fix their eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of their faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God"(Hebrews 12:2). Also Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). It is my goal to fix my eyes on Jesus in every area of ministry, and model Christ-centered living to my students, so that they can observe authentic Christian living.

                As a Youth Minister, I believe that one of my main goals is to move students from a dependence on me -- the Youth worker-- to a dependence on God. The transitioning from dependence on me to dependence on God is a process that will include nurturing, modeling, and walking with the student through his/her Christian life, and above all thingsā€¦unconditional love.

            As noted in the first sentence, I named a few characteristics that in essence define my philosophy of ministry. The last of those things was that I believe youth ministry must be supplemental. What I mean by this is that I believe that parents are the number one influence in the lives of teenagers today. As a youth minister, I want to help families grow together spiritually and relationally especially through the critical years of adolescence. Certainly as a youth minister I realize the potential impact I can have in kids lives, but I also recognize that the number one influence is moms and dads, and I believe that it is my job to partner with parents on the journey of faith, and equip them to understand the world of today's teenagers.

6 Responses to “Philosophy of Ministry”

  1. Anonymous Gman 

    I think they want a short philosophy not a thesis ... LOL.

    Mine is: Youth Ministry is where a young person has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and along with other students and adults establish a Christian Community.

  2. Anonymous Jason 


    Thanks for the first statement. I think that you are right, about churches not wanting a thesis but a statement. I guess, I was under the impression that a phil. of ministry was supposed to be longer.

  3. Anonymous J-Wild 

    I would encourage you to boil it down more. The length and explination resemble a "method" of ministry. To be clear your philosophy is right on. There isn't anything misguided or flawed in it. It's just cluttered.

    Truth be told I don't really have a written philosophy of ministry. But if I had to come up with one today I think it would be something like this:

    "To participate in the work of God's transformative spirit in the lives of teenagers inside and outside of the church."

  4. Anonymous FRQSTR=18990653x219050:1:1440|18990653|18990653|18990653|18990653 

    I liked what you had to say about supplementing the role of the family - equipping parents to fellowship with their own kids more effectively. I'm interviewing for a youth ministry position sometime this week, and this element of the role hadn't really struck me yet.

    I'm thinking of writing out a few pages like you did, not necessarily to hand a copy over to the church, but to clarify my own beliefs about what the whole purpose is.

    One thing that you didn't really touch on that I think is important is setting the youth up to be integral members of the body of Christ in their own service. Often youth are treated as the objects of our ministry - who we are ministering to - rather than sent out as disciples - who we are ministring with. If they are Christians, they are on mission with the rest of the church. My opinion is that inter-generational community helps make this possible.

    Just two cents - thanks for giving me some thoughts.

  5. Anonymous Ali Campbell 

    Ministry is service in the sense of the call to be a "deacon" - in my ministry to youth I want to serve Christ, serve the young people and serve the wider Church. My personal philosophy is to "pass on Christ" and point to Jesus in all that I do (it's an aim, even if I don't manage it!). I seek to serve with passion, with humility, build teams and in all things honour Christ, the young people and those who work with me. My desire is also to get out of the way as young people and young leaders come through - that they might take the lead . . .

  6. Anonymous Rick Odell 

    Mine boils down to this... Ephesians 4... equipping God's people for the good works He prepared in advance for them to do.

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