Youth Ministry That Lasts A Lifetime – Richard Ross

Lee Lethers Podcast 0 Comments

For years we have been hearing about how many students are leaving church after high school. Many times we focus on those who left and why. How much time have we spent focusing on those who have stayed and why they have stayed? Our guest on the podcast is Dr. Richard Ross. He was a student pastor for 30 years and is now professor to the next generation of youth ministers at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. He and Brian have a discussion about a how to prioritize your week to have a balanced youth ministry approach to see more students keeping the faith. He is the author of many books including his latest called Youth Ministry That Lasts a Lifetime.

Takeaways from this episode:

Going beyond the youth years:

 – 40-60% teens leave the church

– We need to discover what we’ve done right with the students who’ve stayed

Those who stay:

1) Tend to be young people who had many relationships in the church with children and adults

2) Had homes where their parents had a strong faith

3) Had a Bible-drenched student ministry

New Student Ministry Model:

  • Commit 1/3 of your work week to connect students to the church
    • Connect individual teens with individual seniors in the church
    • Have them do ministry with adults that have the same passions as them
  • Commit 1/3 of your work week to do regular youth ministry – cut back to be able to shift your time
    • Everything needs to flow directly out of Scripture
    • You will have to cut some things
    • Focus on what is transforming your students the most and do that
  • Commit 1/3 of your work week to parents and families
    • Teach parents how to parent
    • Teach parents to spiritually lead their children
    • Help parents walk spiritually deeper
  • Do your research, get advice, talk to your senior pastor and bring him on board


Youth Ministry That Lasts a Lifetime – Dr. Richard Ross:

Richard’s Website:

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