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What’s measurable in youth ministry?

  • Church attendance. (duh)
  • Program attendance. (double duh)
  • Baptism.
  • Renewal/reaffirmation of baptism vows.
  • Attend confirmation.
  • Complete confirmation.
  • Small group participation.
  • Program participation.
  • Content retention.
  • Content progression.
  • Content application.
  • Becoming a volunteer.
  • Attending volunteer training.
  • Volunteer hours.
  • Bringing friends.
  • Bringing a Bible.
  • Bringing friends with a Bible.
  • Going on a mission trip.
  • Going on a service trip.
  • Creating a service opportunity.
  • Completing a service opportunity.
  • Recruiting friends for a service opportunity.
  • Fundraising for a service opportunity.
  • Joining a student leadership team.
  • Leading a student leadership team.
  • Youth ministry board participation.
  • Church board participation.
  • Finding a mentor.
  • Being a mentor.
  • Volunteering outside of the youth ministry.

There are a lot of things in youth ministry which aren’t measurable. Standing alone,  these quantifiable things might not mean a lot because students can easily fake them or do them with no heart or impact on their relationship with Jesus.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t measure stuff. You mix this quantifiable stuff with qualitative stuff to help you determine an individuals growth as well as the health of your entire group.

For example, at my last ministry one of my assumptions was that a student would make the leap into adult involvement in our church if they had a place they called their own in the congregation. As a result, something I measured and moved our students towards was transitioning from high school ministry involvement to being part of an adult team. (Leading kids ministry stuff, helping on our main service team, participating in one of our mercy ministries, etc.) It was measurable and attainable and made a big difference.

2 Responses to What’s measurable in youth ministry?

  1. Sharon R Hoover August 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Great post, Adam! Over the years, quantifiable things also can help identify overall trends. On a smaller scale, I’ve found it helpful to encourage students who are on the fringes of church life to consider doing just “one additional” thing (add the service day, 6-week Bible study or the retreat) to their Sunday morning worship or evening large group ministry.

  2. Sam Halverson August 17, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    I love your focus on involvement into the church, Adam. This is a necessary book or training that I need to get in the hands/experiences of our churches and youth ministers here in North Georgia. Your suggestions are spot-on.

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