Annual and Monthly Youth Ministry Reports

For those of us employed in youth ministry, we inevitably need some way to report on how well we are doing our jobs. The easiest way to do that is to list events, meetings, one-on-one time, and count them up and report the numbers how many people were at the events.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you can probably guess that I don’t much care for that standard of measure. My question is, how can we concisely yet accurately report back to church Councils and congregations what is going on within the youth ministries at our church?

I say this both as someone who has to do the reporting back to my congregation and as someone who will begin my first role as a supervisor this summer. Our church is getting our first-ever youth ministry intern, and I will be that person’s supervisor. How can I evaluate that person constructively, especially given the fact that they will be with us for a short period of time?


  1. Tom Schwolert says

    It is indeed frustrating to feel like we need to “count” or “measure” so that we are doing our job or to prove to the leaders that we are being “effective.” To your first question, I think you somewhat answered it in the question. I think it is good to report “what is going on” rather than how many are showing up. I know, I know, they want to hear the numbers, but more importantly I think they need to hear the stories. They need to know that youth ministry is about transformation in young people’s lives. What is going on, what is the buzz, what is the feel, what is the sense of what God is doing in youth ministry? These are perhaps more important questions. To the second question, I supervise someone and one way that we “evaluate” is by talking with one another about what we are excited about in the ministry. How are we leading with our strengths? What is God doing in/with the person you are supervising as well as in the lives of the youth? One last thing– if youth are inviting other youth or better yet, ministering to youth in their daily lives it is a good sign that they are being equipped by the ministry. One more last thing– me and another youth minister friend of mine had an idea that when we wanted to get a “ton” of kids to come to something we would actually bring in an industrial sized scale and weigh them in until we reached 2000 lbs. Then we would know we were successful by having a “ton” of kids in our ministry.

  2. says

    umm…. when you get the perfect answer, let me know. Actually, let everyone know….LOL

    Seriously, i think that this is where the way our world works doesn’t match up with the way of the church. Churches aren’t supposed to be “efficient.” Churches aren’t supposed to be systematic or “productive” or even “balanced.” Now, while i believe that there is a place for all those things, i believe it is impossible to really nail down an accurate measurement. In fact, as faith is the evidence of things unseen, it is impossible to measure.

    So what do you do, simply tell them what you’ve been doing and what you’ve been trying to do. I’ve been going to a lot of band concerts lately, because i’m trying to get a better feel for the students and their peers. Etc, Etc. You can make your own list…

    (but in reality, asking for a report is the wrong things to do – in my mind – because it is shortchanging data for relationship and closeness. councils want reports because they have no relationship with youth ministry. if they did, they wouldn’t care about the details of your reports.)

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