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Youth Ministry Manual

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Kentucky Youth Ministries


|    OUR MISSION:       We Build Students OUR OBJECTIVES       Win …      Reach students to Christ      Build …   Teach / Disciple students      Send …    Mobilize students !!! Kentucky Teenagers …

 … our mission field |



Letter from the District Youth Director                                                             page 3

Kentucky Youth Ministries Calendar of Events                                            page 4

Kentucky Youth Ministries Guide                                                               pages 5-6
The Minister of Youth (Ministry Description)                                            pages 7-9

Developing a Youth Ministry                                                                          page 10

Youth Meetings                                                                                                 page 11

Youth Ministry Basics                                                                                      page 12

Youth Sponsor Ministry Description                                                             page 13

Principles of Delegation                                                                                  page 13

Why Delegation Fails                                                                                      page 13

Youth Ministry Hints                                                                                         page 14

Connecting with Teenagers                                                                   pages 15-16

Making Kids Laugh                                                                                          page 17

Discipling Students                                                                                  pages 18-21

Speed the Light                                                                                                 page 22

Fine Arts Festival                                                                                              page 23

Teen Bible Quiz                                                                                                page 24

Ambassadors In Mission                                                                                 page 25

Clip Art                                                                                                                page 2

Kentucky Youth Ministries

Kentucky District Council Assemblies of God Youth Ministries, David L. Amsler, director

P.O. Box 959 * Crestwood, Kentucky* 40014-0959* (502) 241-7111, ext. 2* (502) 241-7112 (fax)*

Dear Pastor or Youth Leader

After more than twenty-five years of full time youth ministry I believe I can sum up what it takes to reach teenagers.  In fact, one just needs to answer three questions that American teenager is asking (albeit usually non-verbally) of you in relationship to your ministry. If you fail to get the answer right you will not reach them.  If you can answer the following questions to their satisfaction you will earn the right to be heard. They are asking of you;

1)  Do you like me?   That means “do you have time for me?” It means “when I am in your presence do you like to hang around me? or am “I a burden to you?”  The bible says that Jesus chose his twelve disciples that “they might be with him.” It takes time spent with to impact students.  Much of that time must be outside the four walls of the church.  That is the major reason why planning student activities are important.  The primary purpose of youth activities are not for simply keeping kids occupied … it is to be able for loving adults to develop godly relationships with teenagers and to model Christian lifestyle to them. 

2)  Are you for real?  Teenagers need to know if what you say you believe you really do.  Teenagers don’t hear very well, but they see really good – and they are watching you.  They need to SEE what a real Christian looks like. The way you treat authority in your life is the way they will treat you as their authority.  If you are badmouthing other Christian leaders they will talk against you.   The only way for them to know if you are for real is if you show them.   Again, that requires a commitment of time.  

3)  Is God for real?       Young people love the bright lights and loud sounds of a multi-media world, but we can never get the lights bright enough or the music loud enough to satisfy the soul of the American teenager.  Go ahead and use appropriate methods of reaching students.  Just remember however, our clout is spiritual.  Young people are hungry for God.  There is something in students that cries out to know God.  Paul said "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, {5} so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." ( 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 NIV) 

The Word of God preached and taught with the anointing of the Holy Spirit impacts teenagers in life changing ways.  Preach the Word of God to them and offer them meaningful altar experiences where they will hear a call to 1) Repentance 2) The Baptism in the Holy Spirit 3) A life of service.  

I believe you have everything you need to reach teenagers.  A heart for God and a heart for students will “rattle their cage.”


David L. Amsler

Kentucky Youth Ministries

!! Revised 11/7/03 

Calendar of Events

Kentucky Youth Ministries:   November 2003 – November 2004





November 21-22, 2003

Fall Fling

Frankfort, Civic Center

Annual Youth Convention

January 17-19, 2004

PK Weekend

Camp Crestwood

Preacher’s Kids Retreat

January 30-31,2004

Youth Workers Training

Camp Crestwood

For all Youth Leaders

February 26,2004








Bluegrass Section

Location & Times to be announced

February 27,2004

Cumberland Section

 Location & Times to be announced

February 28,2004

Mountain Section

 Location & Times to be announced

March 1, 2004

Red River Section

 Location & Times to be announced

March 2, 2004

Central Section

 Location & Times to be announced

March 4, 2004

South Central Section

 Location & Times to be announced

March 5, 2004

Pennyrile Section

 Location & Times to be announced

March 6, 2004

Jackson Purchase Section

 Location & Times to be announced

March 8, 2004

Northern Section

 Location & Times to be announced

March 9, 2004

Northeast Section

 Location & Times to be announced

March 11, 2004

North Central Section

 Location & Times to be announced

March 12, 2004

Louisville Section

 Location & Times to be announced

March 19-20, 2004

Fine Arts Festival

Camp Crestwood

Annual Fine Arts Finals

March 13, 2004

Teen Bible Quiz

Camp Crestwood

Annual Bible Quiz Finals

March 26-April 2,2004

Spring Break AIM Trip


Ambassadors In Mission Trip

April 18, 2004

National Youth Day

Your Church

Youth Day Offering

April 21, 2004

Grand Club Banquet

District Council, L’ville

Speed the Light Awards

June 4-5,2004

Young Adult Camp

Camp Crestwood

College Age Singles

June 14-18, 2004

Combined Youth Camp

Camp Crestwood

Grades 7-12

June 21-25, 2004

High School Camp

Camp Crestwood

Grades 9-12

June 28-July 2, 2004

Kids Camp 1

Camp Crestwood

Grades 3-6

July 5-9, 2004

Middle School Camp

Camp Crestwood

Grades 6-8

July 12-16, 2004

Kids Camp Two

Camp Crestwood

Grades 3-6

July 19-23, 2004

Kids Camp Three

Camp Crestwood

Grades 3-6

August 2-6, 2004

National Fine Arts

Austin, TX

National FAF Finals

September 10-11,2004

Campus Missions

Camp Crestwood

Youth Alive Conference

September 15, 2004

See You At The Pole

Your School

Student Prayer Gathering

October 17, 2004

Speed the Light Day

Your Church

Offering for STL

November 19-20,2004

Fall Fling

Frankfort, KY

Annual Youth Convention

Kentucky Youth Ministries Guide

 A short-term student missions trip.  A.I.M. trips are conducted for stateside and overseas and sponsored by the district and national youth departments. The nationally sponsored A.I.M. trips are called AIM Extreme and are scheduled for six to eight weeks at a time.  These trips are available for students who have had previous A.I.M. experience on a district sponsored trip. 
             Teen Bible Quiz is a quizzing competition program that features quiz matches from September through March, with district finals held in April.  First and Second Place teams from each district advance to National Bible Quiz Finals held in July or August.  
 The camp shares the site with the Kentucky District Office on nearly 27 wooded acres.  The camp features dorm space for 276 people, a worship center that seats 300, a cafeteria seating 175 at a time, a snack stand open during camps, a small above ground pool,  ball field volleyball pit, and new gym / activity center.Camp Crestwood is available for churches and Christian organizations to rent for retreats and special events.  For more information contact: 

| !! Youth Camps

|  Kentucky Youth Ministries sponsor several weeks of camp through the summer break.  Those camps includes; Youth Adult Singles Camp for young people 18-24, Combined Youth Camp for students in grades 7-12, High School Camp for students in grades 9-12, Middle School Camp for students in grades 6-8, and Kids Camps for students in grades 3-6.  Students at the grade breaks may choose which camps they attend.  For example, a student who will be in grade 9 in the fall may choose to attend High School Camp since he or she will be a freshman.  Or that student may attend Middle School since he or she has just left middle school.  |

| !!  

 !!!!! DYD

|  David Amsler is our Kentucky District Youth Director (DYD)  previously known as the District Christ’s Ambassadors President. (D-CAP)  If you can sing the entire Christ Ambassadors Chorus from memory you are a genuine old-timer Christ Ambassador.  Dave coordinates the above ministries and events for the Kentucky Assemblies of God youth department.  He also travels extensively throughout the state preaching and speaking in churches and youth groups.   |

   Fall Fling is the largest single event of the year for Assemblies of God students.  It is held the Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving.  For the next several years our event will schedule at the Civic Center in Frankfort. Fall Fling features music and ministry that is youth oriented, personally involving and spiritually impacting.  The event begins Friday evening at 7:00 p.m., continues on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m., and Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. 
 Fine Arts Festival is an annual event that features competition in music, drama, art and creative writing.  The festival is open to students in grades 7-12.  Those receiving a Superior with Invitation may advance to National Fine Arts Finals held usually the first week in August.  Most of our Assemblies of God colleges offer scholarships and/or invitation for audition to students who do well in District and National Fine Arts. 
 Kentucky Youth Ministries    Contact:Address:   Phone: Fax:       Email:Web Site:    David L. Amsler, director     or    Debbie Amsler, office administratorPO Box 959 * Crestwood, KY  40014   Shipping:  7206 Clore Lane, Crestwood502-241-7111, ext.           National Youth Web Site: 
  Kentucky Youth Ministries Guide continued 

| !! Speed the Light

|       Provides evangelism equipment to our foreign and home missionaries appointed by the General Council Assemblies of God Department of Foreign Missions.  Nationally, teenagers raise nearly $10,000,000 a year for missions through Speed the Light.  In Kentucky we will soon be raising more than $200,000 a year as a district.  |

|  !!!  



|  STL TOUR is a goal setting rally for Speed the Light held the first three weeks of March each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with stops in every section in Kentucky.  We ask every youth group to set a STL missions goal for the current year.  We ask youth groups to set their goals based on a three-point strategy.  1) Motivate students to personal support STL with their personal finances.  2)  do one or two big fundraisers per year for STL. 3)  Receive an offering from the church for STL on STL Sunday the 3rd Sunday of October.  |

       Ministry to  young adult singles (ages 18-24) is a growing focus of outreach and involvement in the local church and district ministries.  We have started an annual weekend camp for young adults and hope to establish a more comprehensive ministry to this important group of young people. 

| !! Youth Alive

|  Student led, student initiated campus missions.  It is our goal to enable students who will present a clear presentation of the gospel every year to every student. Although students will often facilitate a club meeting Youth Alive is not a club, but a ministry strategy for enable students to take a stand on the public campus.  We are also recruiting Prayer Zone Partners who will pray for every school in Kentucky.  |

| | ! YWTC

Youth Workers Training

YWTC is our annual training event for youth workers.  This weekend training is designed for all Christian workers working with teenagers; Youth Pastors, Volunteer Youth Directors, Youth Sponsors and student leaders.



The Minister of Youth


| Mission Statement for Kentucky Youth Ministries |



               “We Build Students”





WIN BUILD SEND         The goal in youth ministry is to win students to Christ, build students into strong believers/disciples and then send students into the Lord’s harvest field. |


! I.          PURPOSE

A.         To develop a youth group in which there is spontaneous, creative, deliberate, and sincere worship of God.  To create a celebratory atmosphere motivated by a love commitment to students and recognition of His worthiness.

B.         To bring the youth together into a loving, caring, accepting, and trusting community by the power of the Holy Spirit. Make this a fellowship in which both social and spiritual needs can be met as young people commit themselves, not only to God but also to one another.

C.         To have a ministry in which Bible study is a priority. The Teaching of the Word is to produce life so young believers will grow in Christ. This discipleship process will also include intensive training of youth gifted with leadership qualities, preparing them for ministry in the group.

D.            To motivate youth toward concern for non-Christians and engage them in events where there is opportunity to share Christ.  Evangelism should not be a programmed sideline but a major thrust of group activity as well as individual lifestyles. Evangelistic vision should not be limited to local needs but should encompass the world, making evangelism a matter of world missions.

E.            To help students make the most important decisions they will ever make.

1)             Who or what they will serve

2)             Mate selection

3)             Career choice


The Minister of Youth


A.            General Responsibilities

                        1          Oversee the spiritual life and Christian training of youth.

2.             Coordinate and/or direct all activities related to youth (ages 12 - early

24, 7th grade through college age singles).  This includes youth services, Sunday school, and youth music / worship.

B.            Specific Responsibilities

                        1.         Direct and conduct a weekly youth meeting.

2.             Organize or involve youth in special events for study and challenge 

(Youth camps, youth conventions, etc.).

3.             Organize or involve youth in special occasions for celebration and recreation, such as Banquets, parties, lock-ins and other celebrations.

4.         Recruit and train leaders.

                        5.         Plan and direct strong diversified evangelism ministry.

6.             Initiate mission projects such as Speed-The-Light, educate youth in for a worldview of mission

7.             Involve youth in evangelism efforts such as stateside and overseas Ambassadors in Missions (AIM).

8.             Be responsible for visitation and follow-up of youth prospects and absentees.

9.             Project and submit for approval a youth ministry budget.

10.          Promote participation in sectional and district youth activities.

11.          Coordinate and oversee middle and senior high Sunday School departments as delegated by the pastor.  This may include:

                                    a.         Planning curriculum in cooperation with minister of Christian                                                              education or Sunday School superintendent.

b.         Selecting teachers in cooperation with minister of Christian education.

                                          c.         Coordinating all other youth Sunday school activities


12.        Coordinate and oversee youth worship.

                                    a.         Selecting leaders

                                    b.         Approving music / songs.


C.            Other Responsibilities

1.             The youth pastor to lead youth ministry committees.

2.             Serve as a member of the Christian Education team.

3.             He shall meet regularly with youth leadership personnel for planning, prayer, evaluation, etc.

4.             Meet with Sunday school departmental leaders and teachers regularly.

5.             Participate in weekly ministerial staff meeting as set by pastor.

6.             Attend all general church services and activities.

7.             Maintain office hours that achieve a balance between the expectations for a member of the church staff and the realities of effective and productive ministry to youth people. 

8.             Keep good records, attendance, members, finances, activities, etc.

9.             Keep pastor apprised of your schedule and plans.

10.          Perform other duties assigned by the Senior Pastor.


The Minister of Youth




A.         Senior Pastor--The minister of youth is directly accountable to the senior pastor in all matters relating to the performance of his work.  He will serve as advisor to the Pastor in matters relating to youth and will present personally the youth budget, goals, and program strategies.  At the pastor’s discretion the youth pastor may audit and be available as a resource member of the church board.

B.        Other Staff Members--He will cooperate and work as a "team" member with other staff.  He will seek to compliment and build other staff ministries, accepting differences, praising strengths, and appreciating overlapping skills.


A.         The minister of youth will keep the senior pastor informed of all work and activity for which he is responsible.

B.         When the job of staff members overlap, consultation and cooperation is expected for the sake of efficiency, harmony, and maximum ministry to the congregation.

C.         The youth pastor shall accept as his responsibility the communications and` promotion of activities (dates, times, necessary information) to the youth and congregation through announcements, mailings, church bulletins, etc.


Adapted from the National Youth Department’s

Youth Ministry Manual  “How to Get a Youth Group Going”  (page 13)



·         Set goals

·         Work toward balance and maturity.

I.      Methods – What is the best strategy? 

·         List all the possible ways of reaching your goals: Bible study, guest speaker, films, music, discussion, panel, drama, etc.

·         Try a new idea or a different method to convoy the message. 

·         Don’t just repeat last week’s method, even if it worked!

II.    Means – How much will it cost? 

·         Before you plan an elaborate program or invite a famous musical group, be sure to check with the pastor. 

·         Keep your plans within the financial limits of your youth group.

III.   Machinery / Material – What kind of equipment will be needed? 

·         For instance, if you want to show a film or video, be sure you can get the equipment needed. 

·         If equipment is not available or affordable, simplify your plans or find a creative alternative.

IV.  Manpower – How much help will you need?

·         Keep in mind the size of your group. 

·         Will you need extra help in arranging the room? Decorating?  Serving refreshments?  Cleaning up? 

·         Your personnel are part of your resources.

V.    Minutes – How much time do you have to activate your plans? 

·         If your youth service is only three weeks away, you may not have time to order a video, or schedule the speaker you wanted. 

·         On the other hand, a there may be local youth pastors available.

·         The bigger and more elaborate the event the more time you need to plan.


Most youth meetings are designed especially for middle and high school students.  College age singles are sometimes encouraged to be a part of the youth ministry by serving as youth leaders and serving as role models for younger students.

            Youth meetings are designed to achieve a balance of several biblical ministry goals:  1) Worship (prayer and ministry to God), 2) Fellowship (Christian relationships & activities) 3) Discipleship (training and teaching)  4)  Evangelism (reaching the lost).

A typical youth meeting might consist of the following:

1.             An adequate room prepared.  Provide enough space for movement, activity, fellowship, etc.

2.             Youth staff (youth pastor / leader, adult youth sponsors) prepared to greet students

·         Every student should be personally greeted

·         An attendance role should be kept

·         It is recommended that you allow students to sign-in every meeting.

·         You may wish to divide the group into teams with a leader for each group who would take role for their team.

3.             The Youth Meeting may consist of the following:

·            A leader opens the youth meeting with a welcome.

·            Announcements

·            Offering for your youth ministry and/or Speed the Light

·            Worship that is 1) God directed, 2) Student oriented and 3) Personally involving

·            Group prayer and/or testimonies from students

·            Special ministry – music or drama by a student.

·            Message to students that is biblically sound, culturally relevant to students and interesting.  I recommend using a lot of illustrated messages, illustrations, stories, etc.

·            Prayer response

·            Dismissal

·            Leaders need to be ready to be involved in informal interaction with students following the youth meeting.  Many times this is a time students will talk or look for prayer.

·            Clean

4.             Follow up

·         Contact all students regularly with a card and/or phone call.  (Students LOVE mail).

·         Contact all absentees within the next 2 days with a  card or phone call

·         Contact strong prospects (students who have attended in the last year)

·         Contact all visitors within the next 2 days to thank them for coming and invite back.


6:00 P.M.          Youth Room set up

6:30 P.M.          Youth staff ready to great students and take role as students arrive

                        You can’t go wrong with offering food, i.e., chips, cookies, etc.

7:00 P.M.          Open Youth Meeting with welcome, prayer, announcements

7:10 P.M.          Crowd breaker (optional) an interactive event designed to help students fill at ease with each other and at ease about coming into a new place.

7:20 P.M.          Worship with a climax in a short group prayer for special needs.

7:35 P.M.          Student Ministry: Testimony, song, drama, etc.

7:45 P.M.          Message from youth leader

8:05 P.M.          Prayer Response

8:15-8:30           Dismissal – Close with group prayer.

                        Informal fellowship & Cleanup


1.         Plan the calendar

·      A monthly activity

·      Speed the Light focus

·      Youth Camp

·      Fall Fling

·      Evangelism trip

·      Informal gatherings – pizza with the pastor, popcorn and video, etc

2.         Ministry Objectives-Target ministry to the three most important decisions a person will ever make

·      Who or what they will serve

·      Mate selection

·      Career choice

3.         Balance of ministry goals

·      Dynamic worship

·      Relevant Bible instruction

·      Christian fellowship/activities

·      Opportunities to share faith in Jesus

4.         Develop a strategy

·         Regular youth meeting

·         Youth Bible Study – Sunday school, small groups

·         Youth ministry opportunities, i.e, youth music team, drama,

·         Youth Camps

·         Fall Fling

·         Speed the Light

·         Fine Arts

·         Ambassadors In Mission

·         Retreats

·         Leadership Training

·         Special Events, i.e., ski-trips, lock-ins, fundraisers, socials, holiday events, etc.

In Preaching to Kids

Teenagers need to be “preached to, not at” – but, they do need to hear the word of God preached with passion in a culturally relevant fashion.  They need to know what the Word of God says and what it means.  One cannot disciple kids without preaching and teaching them the scripture.

  • “Get it right, get it hot, get it out.”  -Dawson McAllister (Author, youth evangelist)

  • “I wish I could be your dad.”  -Josh McDowell  (Author, youth speaker)

  • “It should be a sin to bore a teenager with the word of God.” -Dave Amsler (KY DYD)

  • "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." –Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:21 KJV



For Adult Youth Sponsors

1.             Attend youth meetings and as many church sponsored youth activities as possible

2.             Oversee a small group of 6-12 students by

·         Take attendance of your group at every youth meeting

·         Contact all absentees and visitors by phone or mail in the next 2 days

·         Great students, especially those on your team.

·         Help visitors fill out guest card that listed name, address, phone, birthday, etc.

·         Help maintain discipline in the youth meeting

1.         Try a  low key approach first.  Get them on your side.  Ask for their help.  Use peer pressure; “no one acts that way here in our youth group.”

2.         Next be more direct, but ask for their help.  For example, “John, help me out … you need to be quiet now”.

3.         Next, if they continue to act up, call them aside and ask them to be quiet.

4.         Next, let the group leader handle additional problems.  You may need to address the problem following the youth meeting.

5.         Last resort - ask the student to not come back until they can change their behavior.

3.             Motivate students to help you clean up after the youth meetings

4.             Let the youth leader know in advance when you will be absent.

5.             Prayer for youth regularly




By John Palmer, pastor

1.             Define the ministry task in writing – job description

2.             Prayerfully select someone you feel can do the job

3.             Give the job description to that person

4.             Ask that person to prayerfully consider the ministry

5.             Set up an appointment to meet again.

6.             At that meeting find out if that person feels the Lord is directing toward that ministry.

7.             If that person accepts, begin training … then the ministry.

8.             Arrange for reports

9.             Go over the report and discuss progress.


By John Palmer, pastor

1.             The worker was not capable

2.             The gifts of the worker weren’t matched with the needs of the ministry

3.             The worker was not clearly informed as to his responsibilities

4.             Proper training was not offered or was not taken advance of.

5.             The worker was not oriented to his relationship with others.

6.             The administrator did not trust the decisions of the worker.

7.             The administrator dumped … he did not delegate

8.                  The administrator failed to hold a “loose rein.”


1.             Pastoral involvement is critical

Teenagers must know that the senior pastor is concerned and involved in youth ministry – even in churches who have a full time youth pastor on staff. 

The goal of the youth pastor is not to be a separate church for young people, but to build students into disciples to be a part of the body of Christ.  Teenagers need to know that the senior pastor is their pastor, too. 

§  Once in a while plan a time where you trade places in a service with the youth pastor.  You preach to the youth group and let the youth pastor speaks to the adults.

§  Announce on a Sunday night that you are inviting the entire youth group out for pizza (You or the church buys. You can’t go wrong with feeding teenagers.)

§  Do a question and answer session in a youth Sunday School class or youth meeting.

§  Often attend youth convention and other youth events.  Let your youth pastor plan the events, but you show up to hang out with the youth group.

§  Show up at sporting events for band concerts that your young people are involved in – even Junior Varsity games are great.  Work the crowd – check out all the students who are from your congregation.  They will think you are great for coming to see them.

§  Send kids mail for any reason … because they missed church or because they didn’t miss church.

§  Ask your youth leaders to get attendance records at youth group with a mailing list.  Ask for regular contacts of youth members, of visitors of absentees.  That says, “We care.  We value your participation.”

§  Offer regular youth oriented services – music night, drama night, young person preaches, youth leader preaches, illustrated message.

§  Serve as a counselor for youth camp.  Hey, this separates the

2.             A Father’s Heart


“I wish I could be your dad” is the statement that Josh McDowell often speaks to teenagers.  His heart for young people speaks deep into their lives and earns him the right to be heard. 

§  Rules without relationship equal rebellion. 

3.             Set the Tone for Youth Ministry


“Where there are no oxen the stall is clean” is a message my father often reminds his congregation in Quincy, Illinois.  He notes that working with young people requires work, but it is worth the labor. 

§  Prepare the congregation and older adults with the cost and the benefits of youth ministry

§  Time Capsule – Youth Ministry is like a time capsule where we pour our lives into young people.  One day they will go into the future where we cannot go (they will out live us), but they will take something with them from our investment into their lives.

§  Investment – It is an investment to work with students.  Dividends come later.

§  Leadership Development – We are developing future leaders, pastors, missionaries, teachers, and workers for the Kingdom of God.

§  Discipleship – Remember our mission statement “We Build Students.”


Answer  questions they are asking?

  • Do you like me?
  • Are you for real?


  • Rules – Firm, fair, consistent
  • Example – “they’re watching”


  • Answer guest ions they are asking?

Do you like me?

Are you for real?

Is God for real?

  • Pretend like they like you even if you don’t think they do.
  • Have a YES face.


  • Love for Kids – Love = time spent with
  • Time Spent With – must be with them.  Think about Moses and his young aid Joshua who he took with him into the presence of God.
  • Look for excuses to be with kids outside the four walls of the church

Invite over for dinner – use your best place settings.

Take kids shopping

Speaking somewhere?  Take a few kids.

Travel with them to youth rallies, youth convention

After church on Sunday nights or Wednesday nights.

Invite over for pizza or popcorn.

Volunteer to work a week of camp – you’ll be tired, but energized with spending a week with your young people. 

Involve in Ministry – Don’t rehearse forever and not actually do something.  Teenagers need more action, less talk.

  • Take a couple of students with you on hospital calls.
  • Take a small group to the nursing home; let them sing, speak, preach, shake hands, pray, etc.
  • Regularly use students in drama for a Sunday service
  • Youth Worship Team (stay ahead of the curve in fresh music) – have students involved in the adult praise and worship team, too.
  • Get them involved in Fine Arts Festival

Communication – when you preach to teenagers.

  • High Energy – talk a little faster, be expressive, act as if  you believe it.
  • Sense of Fun – Do you enjoy being a Christian?  Do you enjoy the Word of God. Show it.
  • Sense of Urgency – Time is running out.
  • Sense of Purpose – “Get it right, get it hot, get it out.”
  • Culturally relevant – Answer questions kids are asking.
  • Biblically sound – Be Bible based
  • Effective use of Illustrations – Young people love stories, illustrations, drama and music.


  • Do what you can to make the youth room feel good and look good  to teenagers.
  • If it looks like Kiddy Corner – trust me, they will not like the room.  Avoid when possible a room in which children’s materials must hang on the walls. 
  • Allow the youth to help decorate the room – keep veto power just in case.
  • Room needs to be big enough for elbow room – they need to more around a little.  However, avoid a room so big in which they feel lost.



  • If you never contact them they will think you don’t care.
  • Mail:  Kids love mail – even junk mail.
  • Send a Monthly newsletter –
  • Prepare a weekly youth bulletin
  • Send a monthly parents newsletter
  • Calls:  Make sure every kid gets called once a week.  Get adult leaders to help you.  Get other student leaders to help.  “Dave asked me to call you and remind you that Wednesday night is Survival Night.”
  • E-mail:  Group email line might work.
  • School Lunch:
  • School Visit with Principal & Parental permission –
  • Greet students at church.


  • Young people are your business / ministry.
  • People first, projects second.  


Notes adapted from: Making Kids Laugh; Using Humor to connect with Youth,  by Ken Davis



  • Humor is more than a joke - It’s a way to see the funny side of life.
  • Humor is more than silliness - Pure stupidity may be funny, but has no point.
  • Humor is more than a stand up act. “It’s much easier to help a good communicator develop a sense of humor than it is to help a good comedian learn to use comedy to communicate.”
  • Builds almost common rapport with an audience
  • Helps everyone start from the same point of understanding.
  • A humorous story can accomplish what a whole speech couldn’t.
  • Provides instant feedback from an audience.
  • Just because an audience is looking directly at you, doesn’t mean they are listening and hanging on every word.  They may have you tuned out.

Steps to helping kids laugh

Be Natural

Be yourself - Let the humor of your speech show through your personality. If you are serious, you will probably be more comfortable with dry, witty humor.

How to Destroy of Joke

Never say:

  • I heard a great joke today
  • You’re going to love this one
  • My daughter said something hilarious.

If people don’t think it’s a great joke or if they don’t love it, you’re dead!

Once you’re dead it’s hard to communicate.


  • Allow humor to cloud the message.
  • Use technical terms people don’t understand
  • Telegraph the punch line
  • Fumble the punch line
  • Explain the punch line
  • Tell an old joke that everyone knows.
  • Tell an offensive joke

Know what makes an Idea Funny

  • Surprise
  • Exaggeration
  • Truth

Questions you don’t want your child to answer, “Do you think I’m stupid?

Or yelling out the back door, “If you cut off your legs playing with that lawn mower, don’t come running to me.”

Remember:    “Seize the Moment, Not Your Teen” by Bill Sanders



“Therefore go and make disciples …” (Matthew 28:19)

Barry St. Clair says “in one large denomination, only 6 percent of those who grow up in  a church make it into a church when they go to college.”

I’ve heard Assemblies of God leaders say that only 2% of our kids are going to one of our A/G colleges.  That means most of our kids are going to secular colleges or entering the work force.  An A/G survey in the late 1990’s reported that of our A/G students who choose to enter a secular college 90% will drop out of church.  About ½ will eventually return to the church.  The survey said that of those who immediately enter the work force after high school have a 50% church drop out rate.

In Barry’s St Clair’s words, “Someone’s failing to transform these attenders into followers.” We are doing something wrong if the majority of our kids going through our Sunday School and youth groups are not being made into disciples.  Discipleship IS OUR MISSION.  Jesus did not call us to get a crowd together.  He called us to make discipleships.  Anything less is NOT our mission.




1.         Jesus told us to            Matthew 28:18-20

2.             Discipleship produces fruit that remains.  John 15:16 

3.             It’s the only way we’re going to see life change and produce life changers.

4.             Discipleship multiplies spiritual leaders (2 Timothy 2:2)

5.             Discipleship helps fulfill the Great Commission. 


Win one person and disciple that person so that at the end of one year, each of you can win and disciple another person.

                                    Year 1                                             2 people

                                    Year 2                                             4 people

                                    Year 3                                             8 people

                                    Year 5                                           32 people

                                    Year 10                                   1,024 people

                                    Year 15                                 32,768 people

                                    Year 20                           1,048,576 people

                                    Year 34                   8,589,934,592 people

David Raley, our national Speed the Light director says that there are enough Christians in the world right now that if every one would win someone Christ today, then both would then win someone else to Christ tomorrow, then the combined group would win another to Christ the next day – by the end of the third day the world would be won to Christ.

Discipling Students continued


And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”  (2 Timothy 2:2 NASB)

“…from me …”                                    Pass on only what you possess. 

                                                            You can’t give away what you don’t have.

“…you heard from me…”                     Prioritize relationships

                                                            Jesus chose His 12 “…that they might be with him…”

                                                                                                             Mark 3:14

                                                            Sometimes we chose 12 so we can lecture them.

“…these entrust to faithful men …”      Give them something. 

                                                            Discipleship is more than a good relationship.

                                                            We have a treasure that we must pass on.

                        This includes:                Teaching “Who is Jesus,” “How do I deal with personal sin,”

Training;  “How to Pray,” “How to study the Bible,” “Character building,” “Ministry,” “Righteous Mate Selection,” “Career Choices,” etc.

  • Don’t waste kids time in Sunday school, small groups, youth groups, etc. 
  • It’s okay to have a sense of fun and good humor, but your kids need more than a comedy routine or a pooling of ignorance. 
  • Use a good Bible based, Pentecostal curriculum that will make them think.  I suggest Radiant Life.  If you have not reviewed the teen curriculum in the last few months you cannot judge its quality honestly.

Some people like to write their own curriculum, but be careful. Most people avoid prepared curriculum because 1)  They don’t know how to teach, 2)  They don’t like the discipline of studying prepared materials and they tend to “wing it” every week, 3) They think their personal material is better. 


Think about it. If what you’re writing is so good and so effective that kids that who are graduating from your group are on fire for Jesus then you need to be sharing your materials.  In fact I’ll help you market your material. 

“in the presence of many witnesses …”           Be Real

Timothy spent more than just “Bible study” with Paul.  He saw Paul in all kinds of life situations.  Discipleship happens only in real life.  Kids need to see how you work through life’s problems.

“…to faithful men…”                                        Recruit F.A.T. students




“who will be able to teach others also.”           Teach them to reproduce.





Discipling Students continued



DISCIPLESHIP IS A PROCESS - Discipleship is a process by which we produce disciples.

1.     Pray             Jesus prayed all night before choosing His disciples.

2.     Plan ahead  Determine an appropriate time & place.

                                Decide on what materials you will use – order plenty and in time.

3.     Recruit         General announcement

                          Personally challenge specific individuals who God lays on your heart.

                                    “Do you want to be a man or women of God?”

                                    “Here’s what it will cost you,” 

                                    “Here are the recruitments of the course,” etc.

4.     Prepare        Many resources are available.  Fine those that fit and prepare to lead.

5.     Lead            Weekly lead toward Christ.

                                Discuss material that will produce life change.

                                Equip and mobilize life changers.

Group time may include; saying Scripture verses, discussing the topic, opening the session to discuss personal issues they face.

6.     Grow           Focus on helping students grow in grace

                                Grace is God’s supernatural ability in me through the Cross and the Resurrection.

“And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”  (2 Timothy 2:2 NASB)



From Jacob Aranza

  • God not only drew you to Himself through someone (the person who led you to Christ),  but he gave you to others (to those you lead to Christ).

  • Jesus did not call His disciples only to listen to Him, but to be with Him.

  • In discipleship, you reproduce in others only what you are yourself.

  • Your ability to give correction, instruction, reproof, and rebuke may well determine the quality of your disciples.

  • Our willingness to speak the truth in love proves your authority over and love for those you disciple.

  • Your ability to receive correction will determine the kind of disciples you will produce.

  • Jesus never gave His disciples preaching lessons or healing lessons.

  • Understand the benefits of joining.         (Modeling the grace of God, even in weaknesses).

  • Walk though disagreement and conflict.

  • Guard your heart from unforgiveness and resentment.

Discipling Students continued




Jacob says, “The discipleship process is painful, time consuming, and sometimes disappointing.  Yet it is richly rewarding, effective, and the means Jesus called us to for the sake of His kingdom.  Jesus spent 80 percent of His three years of ministry in personal discipleship.  So obey Him.  Go and make disciples.”

Jacob is the founder of Aranza Outreach and the Smith Lodge Teen and Family Conference Center.  He has been a featured speaker for the Billy Graham Crusade, Promise Keepers, and Focus on the Family.


Our National Youth Ministries and Kentucky Youth Ministries focus on developing students in their walks with Christ through challenging and relevant resources.  Following is information on a discipleship program from the National office.

The long-awaited discipleship course is now available through GPH. This 3-book series is designed to give students an in-depth study of Pentecostal Christianity. The student books are designed for individual study, complete with thought-provoking questions and journal pages. The leader's books provide suggested answers to the review questions, and Part One includes a 7-chapter overview of the philosophy of discipleship.

The series covers such topics as:

  • What does it mean to be a Christian?
  • Sanctification and ordinances of the Church
  • The five purposes of the church
  • The four cardinal doctrines of Pentecostalism
  • Spiritual habits
  • How to interact with the Bible
  • Prayer
  • Stewardship
  • Encountering needs with action
  • Discovering your passions and personality
  • Spiritual giftedness


GlobYLnet is a training seminar that provides on-site youth ministries training in response to the needs of the missionary. The National Youth Ministries office has partnered with Assemblies of God Foreign Missions to help missionaries and the national church overseas conduct youth leadership training seminars.  For more information on GlobYLnet contact the Kentucky Youth Ministries.



Speed the Light (STL) is the student-initiated ministry that provides transportation and communications equipment to missionaries across the nation and in over 150 countries around the world.

STL has its humble beginnings in 1944 when Ralph W. Harris (then head of the NYD), prayed for a way to give A/G youth the opportunity to help missionaries in their work.

Today, STL is one of the most effective missions programs in the church world. Assemblies of God students have accepted a great responsibility to voluntarily raise funds to purchase the equipment. Since its inception, STL has raised a total of $136,407,483.15 for missionary equipment around the world.

Speed the Light has one guiding principle: All assistance must go to purchase equipment directly related to evangelism (“evangelism” is defined as propagating the gospel and instructing converts). STL equipment has not been nor is presently given for promotion, solicitation, or normal administrative funds.

In 2002 Kentucky students gave more than $178,000.00to Speed the Light to help equip our missionaries to take the gospel around the world!  In 2003 we hope to raise more than $200,000 for world evangelism.


 Here we are outside our apartment with our brand new STL vehicle! Notice the snow, which is no longer a challenge with the 4-WD. 
Thank you for giving us this vehicle. Thanks to all the young people who invested their time and energy raising money for vehicles in far away places.  When we were young, we sold chocolate bars and had car washes and jog-a-thons for STL; we never dreamed we would someday receive a STL vehicle! 
Martin and Rhonna Bassett,
Missionaries to Kazakhstan |

We dedicate this vehicle to truly speed the light in Central Asia and pray that it will serve long and well.   Thank You!




The Fine Arts Festival is a valuable opportunity for students to discover and develop their ministry gifts. It is becoming one of the fastest growing ministry areas in our Fellowship with over 31,000 students participating in 2003 across the nation. Students are discovering God has given each and every one of them a gift that needs to be developed and shared with others.

The Fine Arts Festival program exists to allow students to sharpen their talents as they minister to others.

What is Fine Arts Festival?

Each year, thousands of students across the nation take the opportunity to pursue excellence in the arts through the ministry of Fine Arts. Fine Arts is a medium of ministry and education and is one of the many programs of the Assemblies of God National Youth Ministries. Our mission is “to help students discover and develop their ministry gifts.” Students are given the opportunity to develop individual and/or group presentations in their areas of gifting and are evaluated at various levels by adjudicators who encourage excellence and offer ideas for improvement.

How do I get involved in Fine Arts?
All students who desire to be involved in the national Fine Arts ministry must first be involved in their district Fine Arts. To obtain current information regarding our district Fine Arts, please contact your District Youth Director (DYD).  Our Fine Arts Festival is held the last Friday-Saturday of April, prior to the national Fine Arts Festival held each summer

What are the benefits and opportunities available through involvement in Fine Arts?
“[Fine Arts] will revolutionize your life, help make you a more effective minister, provide you with opportunities to make friends, give you an opportunity to earn scholarship money, and give you an incredible opportunity to use your gifts and talents for the Lord!”                                              Jacklyn Pasquale
2000 Short Sermon National Merit Award winner

“[Our} human video ceased to be a performance. It became an act of worship, and the audience worshiped with us. We were humbled as a team. We’ve been changed ever since. In a moment, God completely reinforced His call on my life to go into full-time ministry. We left the 2000 National Fine Arts Festival changed.”
Jonathan Douglas
2000 Human Video Group National Merit Award winner

“[Fine Arts] is an incredible opportunity to grow in your God-given talents and to be built up by others. You make friendships that last a lifetime. It’s really an awesome experience!”
Natalie Grant
Pamplin Christian contemporary recording artist

Fine Arts is designed to give students opportunities to learn about their God-given gifts. This ministry encourages students to develop their gifts and then use them in their local schools, churches, and communities. Fine Arts Festivals enable students to experience a time of learning through workshops, evaluations, and interaction with other students.

If you have any questions relating to our district Festival, please contact the District Youth Director’s office at 502-241-7111, ext. 2 or E-mail



Bible Quiz is a test of your knowledge of the Bible. Two teams of three quizzers each face a series of twenty questions with varying difficulty. The first contestant to "buzz in" and answer the question correctly gains points for his or her team; if the contestant answers incorrectly, the team loses points.

Quizzers cover a different portion of the New Testament (New International Version) each season. The theme rotates every eight years and includes three of the four Gospels, the book of Acts, and various groups of the Epistles. Bible Quiz requires more than just the ability to recite Scripture. Players must also learn people and places mentioned and become familiar with exclamations, questions, parenthetical statements, Old Testament passages, and more.

Who can quiz?
Teens in grades seven through twelve who attend an Assemblies of God church may participate in Bible Quiz. Each team may have up to six members. Your church may have as many teams as you like.

When are the matches?
Each district schedules its own matches (roughly 4-5 times a year). Competition usually starts in October or early November. The season ends with district playoffs—which determine the teams who will move on to one of eight regional tournaments. Five teams from each region advance to the annual Bible Quiz National Finals.   Kentucky matches are held the second Saturday of each month beginning in October and ending in March.  District Finals are held the second Friday-Saturday of April with winners advancing to Regional Finals held in May.

What about scholarships?

Over the years, nearly all colleges and Bible schools affiliated with the Assemblies of God have offered scholarships to top quizzers and teams. Currently, these scholarships range from $200 for each member of a district runner-up team to full four-year scholarships for the top individual quizzer at National Finals. Additional scholarships are given by the National Bible Quiz Department at National Finals.

How do I get started?

The National Bible Quiz office publishes Bible Quiz materials to help you get started and coach your team. For more information on starting a Bible Quiz team, contact the Kentucky Youth Ministries in the District Office.


What is AIM?

AIM (Ambassadors In Mission) is a Youth Missions program designed to equip, train, and send young people to experience the Great Commission. The national program is a partnership between the National Youth Ministries and Assemblies of God World Missions

Kentucky Youth Ministries seeks to mobilize hundreds of Kentucky students for ministry on overseas and stateside evangelism outreaches.  We are developing leadership who will take teams to Latin America, the Inner City, Europe, Mexico and stateside sites.

There are three types of AIM trips.

1)  National AIM teams 2)  District Sponsored AIM teams  3)  Local Church AIM teams.

The Kentucky Youth Ministries is developing a District AIM Leadership team to strategize locations where AIM teams are most needed.  We are providing leadership training for our team leaders and working with our national office to insure coordination of ministry with our missionaries.

Local churches desiring to lead their own AIM need to be aware of the following:

The term AIM is a protected name for teams meeting five requirements:

1.     Secure written permission from the Assemblies of God World missionary hosting your trip.

2.     Notify in writing your district youth director of your AIM trip plans

3.     Complete the AIM Outreach form. (This form is available in the AIM Outreach Packet.  To order call Gospel Publishing House (GPH) at 1-800-641-4310; request item #732-001.  The cost is $5.00.)  This form should be received in the National AIM office well in advance of your trip to make sure the trip is approved.  We suggest 60 days prior to the trip date.

4.     Obtain short-term insurance coverage from Brotherhood Mutual at 1-800-876-4994; ask for Maria Weber and request AIM insurance.

5.     Complete the AIM Outreach Report / World Ministries Giving Credit form and return it thirty days after your trip.  This form is available in the AIM Outreach Packet.

Richard Hammer, the legal counsel for the General Council Assemblies of God also suggests that each team:

1.     Screen all adult chaperones

2.     Provide the National AIM Leadership Training for adult chaperones

3.     Provide each AIMer with national AIM Manual ($10.00)


Kentucky Youth Ministries

Ambassadors In Mission Teen Bible Quiz Fine Arts Festival
Kentucky Youth Ministries Speed the Light Win Build Send
Youth Alive Young Adult Ministries Camp Crestwood

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