How has Youth Ministry Changed in the last 40 years? – Tom Phillips

Lee Lethers Podcast

It’s not easy to stay relevant in youth ministry as we grow older. This week on the Multiply! Podcast, Brian is joined by an expert on this topic. Tom Phillips has over 40 years of youth ministry experience, from local church ministry to camp ministry to his current role as Campus Pastor at Word of Life Bible Institute in New York.  Tom has a heart for students and is an incredible communicator of the Word! Tune in as he identifies some of the changes in youth ministry that have taken place over the last 40+ years.

Takeaways from this episode

How has youth ministry changed?

  1. Middle school students are now the ones who want to experience the world
  2. The way you need to speak to students has changed
  3. Students are not secure in who they are – they don’t even know what they want to be
  4. You cannot preach the Gospel the same way you used to be able to – your starting point has to change
  5. Feeling-oriented religion over fact-oriented religion
  6. There is a decline in knowledge of the Bible
  7. Staying relevant is harder

Helping students see who they are in Christ:

  1. Explain what happens when they get saved (Ephesians 1)
  2. Continually teach them the Gospel (even after salvation)
  3. Get students grounded in the Word of God
  4. Give simple concepts in messages – be clear, give an opportunity to respond

How to stay up-to-date and relevant:

  1. Look at trends
  2. Read about young people
  3. Sit and talk with students and young people – learn their stories

The basis of youth ministry is love and compassion.

The secret of an effective ministry is preparation in your own life.