Youth Ministry Resources for Gospel-Driven Students Pastors
Before we get into the youth ministry resources guide, we want to recommend our 12-day Colossians Bible study: The Preeminence of Christ.
It’s the quickest way to help your students (or leaders) start a daily Bible study habit and learn how to get more out of God’s Word. The Preeminence of Christ study will teach students how to read the Bible and apply it more faithfully to your daily life. Click the button below to get the daily study emails and a complete download of the Bible study—completely free.
The Preeminence of Christ
12-Day Bible Study
This Bible study will help you set a steady pace to study the book of Colossians over 12 days. Each section highlights a particular passage, provides background context and helps the reader examine what God is saying.
Then, it finishes with a few questions to guide your personal application.
Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters exists to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the exposition of Scripture and personal relationships in order to equip the Church to impact this generation.
Let’s get into the resources guide on youth ministry…
What is the Purpose of Youth Ministry?
As always, we must look to the Bible as our guide in youth ministry. Paul’s words in Colossians 1 are the mission call of Snowbird, and they are just as helpful for those of us in local church ministry as well:
The goal of a Gospel-centered youth ministry is to point students toward Jesus Christ and walk alongside them as they grow in their faith.
Student pastors, our role in student ministry is to raise up teenagers into maturing disciples of Christ. The middle and high-school students under our care are young, but they need to quickly take hold of their own spiritual growth.
If mark number one of a healthy youth ministry is solid teaching, then mark number two is a culture of discipling.Deepak Reju, Capitol Hill Baptist Church
The Gospel is at the heart of every faith youth ministry. Both solid teaching and discipleship must be grounded in the truths of the Gospel. Salvation, sanctification, and life-long faithfulness are enabled by the Gospel. Look at these 5 results the Gospel Coalition shared of Gospel-centered youth ministries:
- It drives students to Jesus.
- It provides eternal perspective.
- It teaches God’s Word.
- It encourages missions and service.
- It provides hope, assurance, and an understanding of identity.
Sounds like a good plan, right? We’re willing to bet that 99% of youth pastors jump into student ministry with these goals in mind. It’s one thing to say you’re building a Gospel-driven youth ministry, but it’s quite another to fulfill the mission.
- We all need brothers and sisters to partner with us.
- We all need the church.
- We all need the grace and motivating power of the Gospel.
Here are our best youth ministry resources to help point you in the right direction.
Principles of Youth Ministry
- How to Disciple Students in Your Youth Ministry – At the end of the day, dependence on God will always trump strategy. Here is how to humbly show students your complete dependence on Christ.
- 12 Tips for First-Time Youth Pastors – Our best advice for your first year of student ministry.
- 5 Essentials for Faithful Youth Pastors – Every pastor is called to teach, equip, train, and disciple those God calls us to serve. Here’s a straight-to-the-point breakout session to help you stay focused on what really matters.
Cultural Issues & Apologetics in Youth Ministry
- Gender & the Bible – The gender and sexuality revolution is no match for the biblical truth our Creator has given us in his Word. But, how do we help our students see that reality during cultural pressures?
- Biblical Aspects of Masculinity – God alone defines what true manhood is. Here is what your students need to know about godly manhood.
- Social Media & Parenting (part 1) – Brody Holloway and Jon Rouleau discuss the triangular relationship between parents, their teenagers, and social media—and give concrete tactics on how to fight for your teens.
- Social Media & Parenting (part 2) – Parenting requires courage in every generation. Brody Holloway, Rob Conti, and Spencer Davis share how parents can slow down and be aware of how the media is affecting their families.
- What Does the Bible Say About Creation? – Did God really create the world by a 7-day literal creation? Or did he use a big bang to kick things off? Here are some notes and deep study from Zach Mabry to help you point students in the right direction.
Godly Leadership Principles for Student Pastors
- 5 Things Joshua Teaches Us About Ministry Leadership – Joshua is one of the few Old Testament leaders who remained faithful to the Lord. Here’s what we can learn from him—and how to apply it in our student ministries.
- How to Leverage Your Leadership Capacity – You wear a lot of hats. How do you make the most of the time you’ve been given? This is how to leverage and increase your capacity to lead well and live wisely.
- Effective Leadership in Student Ministry – How do we lead a generation of students to be Gospel-focused, evangelism-driven, disciple-makers? Brody shares from Scripture how to help discern what God demands of us and how we can most effectively point students to Him.
- Leadership Starts With Prayer – Deep dive into Matthew 6. Effective leadership begins with an effective prayer life.
- A Good Shepherd Keeps His Sheep – We love our students well by laboring over the Word of God, praying in the Spirit, and teaching sound doctrine. We are contending for eternal souls and must take our task seriously. A youth pastor is not an activity director; he is a shepherd under The Good Shepherd.
- History of Biblical Worship – Zach Mabry details the history of worship throughout Scripture, and gives practical instruction on how we should offer praise to the Lord today.
- Worship in Youth Ministry – This is a breakout from our Iron on Iron youth ministry conference. Correct Biblical theology both drives our worship and provides practical instruction for how to lead or establish musical worship among our students.
Youth Ministry & the Local Church
- Why Do I Need the Church? – Here’s a deep dive from Spencer Davis into what your students need to know about the local church.
- The Best Thing in 34 Years of Youth Ministry – Steve Brooks, a veteran youth pastor and partner of Snowbird, walks through 10 essentials of the faith. Listen to how he gets parents involved in their student’s walk with the Lord.
- Why People Think Youth Ministry is a Joke – What does it take for a church (and youth pastor) to do student ministry well? It is vital that churches have a strong youth ministry, and it should be taken seriously on every level—and it starts with us.
- Is Ecclessiology Really Important for Youth Ministry? – Most people treat the church like a buffet because they honestly believe it is in their best spiritual interests. Here are four big issues with that ecclesiological buffet.
- Navigating Conflict in Youth Ministry – Conflict is inevitable in every area of life (and ministry). Here’s how to handle conversations with wisdom and grace—and point everyone to the Gospel.
Partnering With Parents
- Biblical Parenting Resources Hub – Our best resources for parents looking to honor Christ and raise kids who are growing in their faith.
- Family Worship & Discipleship – Practical wisdom (and personal stories) to guide your family discipleship and worship time, without overcomplicating things.
- Family Milestones & Parent-Child Discipleship – Many parents consider pastors and youth pastors as the “Bible experts” to outsource their kid’s spiritual care to. Other parents lacked tools to critically consume culture, to process with their kids the worldview they were seeing and hearing.
- Personal Bible Study & Family Discipleship – The only way to lead well in your marriage, family, and other relationships is to lean into the Lord. Here are some personal stories from John Ridenour of how the Lord has taught him to finish strong as a godly husband, father, and grandad.
Bible Study & Prayer
- Bible Study Tips for Students –
- Personal Discipleship –
- What Makes the Bible So Powerful for Christians –
YOUTH MINISTRY CONFERENCE: IRON ON IRON
Expositional Bible Teaching
- Preaching the Gospel in a Postmodern World – How can we encourage our students to live for the Lord in a postmodern world? Jon Rouleau walks through 3 practical guidelines on how to lead students well in this ever-changing culture.
- Preaching to the Heart of Your Students – The heart is the motivational structure of the soul. It determines how people think, feel, and act. Our job is to let the Gospel tear down the focus on self.
- Tailgate Theology (Sermon Prep) – Brody walks through how he prepares to preach a sermon and how to be expository students of the Word. This episode will prepare you to study (and preach) in a way that will bring about the approval of God.
- We Preach Christ – Turn the hearts of your students toward a greater hope. Teach them not to be captivated by empty philosophies, but to be captivated by Christ. Let’s teach our students how to pursue the Lord and study his Word.
- 4 Convictions of Biblical Preaching in Youth Ministry – Here are 4 things you need to believe in your core, if you want to preach the Bible faithfully.
- Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth in Youth Ministry – Paul tells us that if we want to “not be ashamed” in our ministry we need to be able to properly handle his Word. Here are some general principles every Bible teacher needs to follow.
- Errors to Avoid When Preaching to Students –
- How to Teach the Bible to Teens –
- Who is the Devil? – Your students need to have a biblical understanding of who the devil is, and how he interacts with humans.In this episode, Brody walks through 1 Peter 5 and discusses misconceptions we tend to have about the Devil.
- Can You Lose Your Salvation? – What your students need to know about eternal security and the doctrine of salvation.
- Core Doctrines Your Students Need to Know – Which doctrines should Christians hold firm to? Which ones can we agree to disagree on? Listen to this Snowbird Summer Staff training session on the core doctrines of Christianity.
- The Discipline of the Lord in the Life of a Christian – Students often think the Lord punishes us and shames them for their mistakes. God disciplines us because he loves us—not to bring shame or guilt. Some of your students need to see the beautiful reality of their adoption into the family of God, through Jesus’ work on the cross.
Ministry for Girls
- Eve’s Failure & What We Can Learn From It – We need to recognize the way each of us are naturally bent toward sin. Let’s teach the girls in our youth ministry how to fight their flesh and restore relationships to the way God intended and designed them to be.
- Identity for Girls – Today, it’s so easy for girls to find their identity in superficial things—and compare themselves to others. Here is how to teach them to focus on what God says about them instead of what the world says.
Ministry for Guys
- Discipline: A Calling for Every Man – Jon Rouleau walks through 7 practices for disciplined living that we can apply to our lives today. Let’s practice self-control, living on purpose, and controlling our own bodies.
- Basics of Biblical Manhood – What is the difference between a man and a man of God? How do we as men enter into darkness as lights, refuse to compromise, and live faithfully on mission?
- A Biblical Theology of Work – A correct theology of work comes directly from Scripture. Let’s dig in and see what the Bible teaches us about our daily work.
Practical Guidance for Students
- How to Fight Doubt – Doubt robs believers of the joy that awaits them in Jesus. Here’s how to fight it.
- Christian Excellence in an Age of Systemic Mediocrity – Your Christian students are ambassadors of Christ. In this breakout, Jake Scwarting walks through how believers should strive for Christian excellence in a culture of mediocrity. Let’s teach our students to be God-centered and work hard in pursuing holiness.
- Spiritual Disciplines in the Social Media Age – In a day and age when so many things are competing for our time and devotion, it is crucial we follow the Bible’s command to train ourselves in godliness.
- Dealing With Tough Situations in Youth Ministry – The job of a student pastor or leader doesn’t end with sermon preparation or late nights at athletic events. You carry the weight of each student’s situation, home life, mistakes, and worries. It is vital that we maintain a biblical perspective for handling overwhelming situations with a Gospel lens. You can use those situations to give your students Jesus.
- How to Help Your Students Fight Against Pornography – Beyond accountability. Here’s what to do when accountability partners aren’t enough to win the battle.
Hard Questions & Practical Ministry Advice
- Hard Questions in Youth Ministry (panel discussion) – Discussion on difficult questions we all get from students, regarding baptism, LGBTQ+ issues, and more.
- 9 Tough Questions for Student Pastors (panel discussion) – Wisdom for first-time youth pastors. How to manage depression and anxiety biblically. Valuable partnerships with other churches. How to disciple parents.
- 8 Issues Every Youth Pastor Faces (panel discussion) – How to integrate your student ministry with the rest of the church. When to leave your church. How to train, equip, and involve your volunteer leaders.
- Keys to Effective Student Events – How to plan and execute student events that build up students and support the church in healthy ways.
Missions & Evangelism
- Engaging Your Students in the Work of Evangelism – How can you get your students involved in evangelism? Here are some practical ways to teach your students to invest in their relationship with Jesus and to share the Gospel with their sphere of influence.
- How to Share the Gospel With Muslims – Loving Muslims completely (and anyone else) requires that we honestly share the deepest roots of our identity in Christ. As Christians, we are children of the living God — our Heavenly Father has written our story and given us new life in Him. Here are some helpful ways to share the Gospel with your Muslim neighbors and friends.
- Don’t Lose Heart Weary Saint – Robert Lane shares challenging truth from 2 Corinthians 4. Remind yourself of the mercy of God, and continue to look to Christ. Christ’s followers need to be on guard against losing heart, so we don’t lose focus on the Great Commission.
- The Power & Clarity of God’s Word – The Bible is God’s metanarrative, that helps us understand him and his works throughout all of time.
- Intro to Islam – What do Muslims believe God, Jesus, and the Bible?
- Hospitality in the Middle East, Africa, and Tennessee – True biblical hospitality has little to do with fancy dinners and more to do with submitting our hearts and time for the Lord to use them in reaching others.
Gospel-Driven Resources for Your Teens
We host over 11,000 campers every year at our camp and conference location in North Carolina. The teenagers of today’s generation are facing large hurdles coming from every direction. Jesus and his Word offer the wisdom you need to equip your children to grow in godliness. Here are some resources designed specifically for students, that will be a helpful aid in conversation.
Youth Ministry Books, Articles, & Bible Studies
This is a list of recommended books and biblical parenting resources from our Snowbird teachers to help encourage your habit of learning. We encourage you to read critically and evaluate every book through the lens of the Bible.
- The Things Concerning Himself – Snowbird Advent Bible Study
- 25 Advent Passages to Read with Your Family Every Christmas
- 6 Books on Expository Preaching, Teaching, and Shepherding
- Youth Ministry Goals at Capitol Hill Baptist Church – Deepak Reju wrote this simple and straightforward memo to church members about their re-launch of the student ministry vision—and he does a great job staying focused on the main things.