The Most Vital Skill in Youth Ministry

connect-artwork“What is the most important skill I need to teach my volunteers?”

That’s what my friend Brandon asked me when he was planning his fall training with all of his leaders.

What would you answer?

Without hesitation I answered him, citing a ministry skill that trumps all others:

“Connecting with young people.”

“Go back to your Bible.” I always tell youth workers at my training workshops. “What did Jesus model? Did he sit there in the synagogue seven days a week waiting for people to stop by and attend his program, or did he go out and interact with people?”

We don’t need chaperons who stand around the perimeter in the back of the room (YS just posted an article I wrote on that subject). We need caring adults who want to connect with young people, not just at youth group, but throughout the week.

This weekend I teach two workshops at the National Youth Workers Convention, and in each of them I’ll be providing leaders with tools to connect with young people and engage them in meaningful conversation. (If you’re there this weekend, come to my workshops on Saturday.)

If you’re going to miss the workshops, here’s some links to some of the material I’ll be covering:

Connect-SMALLConnect my book about connecting with today’s young people in a world of isolation

5 Steps to Connect with Today’s Teens– Here’s a free 7 Minute YouTube video where I give youth workers five simple steps to connect with teens

Connecting with the Six Types of Kids– Here’s a another free training tool video about how to connect with the six types of kids we encounter in our ministry

Leading Small Groups… without losing your mind!– Here’s a quick article giving you the basics for engaging kids in small group discussion


About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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