The Most Important Aspect of a Congregation's Youth Ministry is Pastor-Teen Relationships
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Why is youth ministry so difficult in today’s culture? Why do so many congregations’ youth ministries sputter out and fail? Why can’t youth ministers seem to be able to get their youth active in the life of their congregations? Why do our congregations lose so many of their teenage members after confirmation? These questions plague many pastors who have invested countless hours of their ministry trying to make it successful, only to see it fail. This paper will seek to show that the relationships developed by a pastor with the teenagers in his congregation will give his youth ministry the strongest chance to succeed, thrive, and affect the lives of the teens under its care. This paper will show the biblical background for relationship-based ministry, why these relationships are so important for today’s teenagers, and how pastors can begin to initiate this type of ministries in their own congregations. By no means is this paper a cure-all for all the difficulties and challenges facing youth ministry in today’s world, but it is meant to start the discussion of how we can begin to repair this area of ministry which is sputtering out and dying in many congregations.