Let us be honest with one another. Youth ministry as it is most often lived out today is really a series of adult controlled environments strung together with the hope (and expectation) that youth lives will be transformed. Maybe I am the odd ball here but when it comes to transformation and learning experiences in my own life those spaces happened less in the adult environments and more in youth led arenas. Boy Scouts was a big place of learning for me which has a history of being led by the boys. College, when young people get out on their own, has traditionally been a land of discovery.. Coincidence? Not really.
So can you afford to give away all of the ministry to the teenagers? Probably a bad idea, some church elders might have visions of Lord of the Flies running through their heads. But giving back to the teenagers their youth ministry is important if you want transformation.
Are you ready for a youth led environment? MarkO has a bit of a test to see if you are ready. These things are generally not perfect, slick, without mess, and easy. There is a lot of control that needs to be given away and trust that God is working in the midst.
But how do you change a culture of adult controlled youth ministry that has been in place for decades? Our best suggestion is to check out the work of Endeavor Movement which has been a youth led ministry for over a hundred years.