Teenager Investment

One of the cool things about being in children’s ministry is that you get to work with children AND teenagers. As a former youth pastor, I’m always encouraging children’s leaders to find and invest in teenagers. Don’t invest in them because of what you get from them. Invest in them because of the possibilities and the calling in their life. I believe I am where I am today because of a youth pastor who invested in my life. That was one of the big reasons I wanted to be in youth ministry. He didn’t invest in me because he thought I’d be a workhorse. He did it because he believed in me and thought that if I could learn what he learned earlier in life than I would be that much further ahead. The same applies to children’s ministry.

I want to encourage every children’s or family leader to find a teenager to invest in. Don’t view them as a workhorse or someone who will do all the things you don’t want to do. Instead, view them as a leader who has the potential to eclipse you in leadership and ability—who can make a bigger impact than you ever could.

This past week I spent time with a friend, Jeremy Donald, children’s pastor at Forest Hill Church of God in Mobile, Alabama. He brought with him two of his teen all stars. One was Jacob who is 14-years-old and another Courtney who is 18-years-old. I absolutely loved what Jeremy was doing—investing! Along with his wife, they brought them to Focus Conference for children’s leaders in Greenville, SC. Not only that, you could tell both Jacob and Courtney were excited about what they do, the authority given to them and the impact they are making in Mobile.

Sure there are things that need to be done in ministry that aren’t always fun. I’m not saying that those we invest in should only do the “fun” stuff and never anything else. I’m asking that they do more than the “anything else”—something of significance.

I would love to hear specifics on how you use teenagers in your ministry.



  1. Justyn, Jacob and Courtney were great and I do appreciate Jeremy for his investment! There are other churches who are doing similar things. Trent Black in Paris, Texas, has a team which he has trained and actually travels with him when he does camps or our upcoming Kidfest events. He was trained as a teenager and eventually became the replacement for his Children’s Pastor who retired last year. We have to mentor the next generation of leaders or we won’t have any! Thanks for reminding us!

    1. Absolutely! That’s one of the many things I like about your group of leaders. They are definitely forward thinking and raising up some amazing young ministers!

  2. I love this. Yes, invest because you see the future in them. Plant seeds that will bloom for the kingdom. Kids and Teens NEVER forget what you pour into them. Invest in them with a certainity, prayer and belief that they WILL eclipse everything you have ever done. Pray towards that end. You will share in the crown of glory bestowed on them. If I can only touch one that become a kingdom warrior I will be most blessed. The “Israel Generation” is focused on the 10-18 year old accross denominational lines “raising up a generation that understands and knows the churches biblical mandate.” I taught Children’s Church years ago, was youth director and at an older age God called me to go to Seminary. The call is to the sons and daughters of Joel 2:28. So honored that God allows me to invest in His kingdom via the youth.

    1. Agreed…I think of several people in ministry today and/or serving Christ with all their heart who were poured into by a children’s or youth minister. These young people make up some of the greatest leaders…

  3. I coudn’t run my kids ministry without teenagers. I like how you talked about teen all stars, it reminds me that I need to find more ways to thank and encourage the teenagers who work so hard for the kids.. Of course, the great challenge of working with teenagers and youth is finding the time needed to really invest in them. I’m going to reflect on this a bit more.

  4. Being thrown into the kid’s ministry world at age 15, Donna and I understand the power of what teens can accomplish. The two teens in this post are just 2 of the many incredible teens we have working here @ the HIll. Reggie Joiner said it best “If teens are staying home from church because of boredom put them to work in Kid’s Ministry. Do not let their talents go to waste.” Kid’s Ministry leaders should really value teens and their abilities to lead and not just carry the props. Thank You Justyn for Highlighting our Interns! And thank you for the investment that you made in them during our FOCUS Conference. Being a real down to earth leader gave them a lot of respect for you and other kid’s ministry leaders as well.

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