Setting Youth Ministry Goals

Setting Youth Ministry Goals | Youthworker Circuit Wesleyan Methodist Youth Ministry Resources

It’s the beginning of the year which is always a good time think about long term goals. What goals do you have for your ministry this year? This month? For the next 5 years? I am not a big mission statement person, those generally are too loaded or too vague to give you actionable steps through the long term. However, measurable goals help so that you can identify the ministry as being fruitful to the ministry you are called by God to lead.


First, here are some helpful thoughts in putting together goals for the youth ministry.

  • What are your core goals in ministry? (see kids grow, empower adults..)
  • What are your family goals? (you need a personal life)
  • What are the church’s goals? (ask people, you’ll be surprised the diversity)
  • What are the pastor’s goals? (they are somewhat important in guiding the big ship of the whole church)
  • What are the unspoken goals? (are you supposed to compete with the other churches in town, but folks don’t want to admit it)

Once you have some thoughts and trends in these try and write them down where they can be achievable.

ie. The church’s goal is to “Grow the youth group”. This is not an achievable goal. It is a nice goal, but not achievable in most cases. “Grow the youth group by 5% each year” becomes an achievable goal. You can say, we started 2015 with 30 active youth, at the beginning of 2016 we had 2 more active youth, that is growth by 6%.

This may seem disingenuous, but in reality, as an employee, you want your job performance to be measured by actual facts, not someone’s random opinions. Having achievable goals will also help the ministry to celebrate that there were two more youth active in the group. If you did not have it as an achievable goal then you might have missed that two new youth grew your ministry by 5%.


Second, narrow down your goals to an achievable number. Set up a small list of big goals and a longer list of secondary goals.

It is only realistic to think that a ministry can hit on two or three major goals. These goals might have to do with growth measures, culture changes, major program changes, leadership changes, etc. These goals are also guidance for not just this year but setting a course for years to come.

You can start a secondary list of goals for some of the smaller items; grow a retreat event by 4, start two more small groups, create a year long teaching calendar, etc. The secondary goals you have can, and should, compliment or help to lead towards achievements in the big goals.


Spend this week identifying the myriad of goals your community & you have. Then work to put the goals into measurable items you can work towards.

Share in comments what some of the achievable goals are that you’ve found helpful.. And a few that are not so helpful.

A great book read in setting goals and implementation is Mastering the Rockefeller Habits. You’d probably want to buy the kindle version, since used versions sell for almost $50 now (it’s that influential of a book). It is not a new book so you could probably check it out at your local library. This, if it is not obvious already, a business book. You gain insights into how Rockefeller built his business behaviorally with setting goals, weekly huddles, keeping the culture, etc.