Philosophy of Youth Ministry

Developing a Philosophy of Youth Ministry

In youth ministry, it is imperative that we be intentional about what we plan and program. This happens only when we thoughtfully process what we hold as core values or theological rocks. Once a youth pastor mixes these with an understanding of adolescent development and a paradigm for youth ministry, they have a philosophy of youth ministry.

Where do I start?

I personally recommend you start by reading The Adolescent Journey by Amy Jacober. This book will soon become the source for understanding holistic youth ministry. She mixes theological insights and youth ministry intelligence to give readers a solid understanding of what it takes to be intentional. She will help you develop a “Practical Theology of Youth Ministry,” and covers each of the subjects below. This is a must read for all in the field!


In my Philosophy of Youth Ministry Video I discuss the following:

1. Adolescent Development & Identity:

Help students answer the questions “Who am I?, Who am I to others?, Who am I to God?”


Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood by Jeffrey Arnett

Soul Searching by Christian Smith


2. Paradigms or Philosophies of Youth Ministry:

Preparatory approach: equip students for discipleship, evangelism, and leadership.
Missional approach: viewing schools as the mission field with the desire to see them changed.


Four Views of Youth Ministry and The Church by Mark Senter


3. Theological Rocks or Core Values:

Seeking heart transformation rather than behavioral modification.
Including students in the life of the church now.


Contemplative Youth Ministry by Mark Yaconelli

Presence-Centered Youth Ministry by Mike King


I would love to hear what books and resources have influenced your approach to youth ministry. Leave a comment and let me know! Blessings.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply