Evaluating Youth Ministry Effectiveness

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How do you determine when you have been doing effective ministry? What standards must you meet to declare your work with students a success? Hayley Miller, from Word of Life Fellowship, offers her standard for measurement that is more than counting our numbers or evaluating our students' behavior.

Hayley's role and passion is for discipleship and diversity in ministry to youth. Word of Life is focused on reaching young people around the world with the gospel of Christ and teaching them how to walk with the Lord.  



Sometimes we mistakingly evaluate ministry success using a business model. However, we can't physically see or quantify Spirit led transformation in a person's heart. To encourage growth, Hayley suggests that we help the students set goals using SMART standards.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Use this space to plan how you will communicate SMART goals to the students in your small group. Make a plan to help these students set their own goals and take personal ownership for meeting them.
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Hayley built her suggestions for evaluating effectiveness off of Colossians 1:28–29, and she offered the following questions. As you answer each with a "yes" or "no", add an explanation for your response.

Are you obedient in the role of service and leadership that God has given you? Are you using every opportunity and working toward excellence?
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Are you being faithful to God's Word? Is Scripture leading you in your work and decisions, and are you leaning on it before your own wisdom?
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Are you practically connecting the Word of God into the lives of your students? Are you living a contagious walk with the Lord? Are you asking good questions that help you to get deeper into your students' needs?
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Are you making a few deep, disciple-level connections? Are you helping and growing young people toward an ability to eventually take over your role?
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Our goal is not attendance or to make everyone comfortable, but to help young people grow more mature in Christ.


For more RightNow Media training posts and teaching videos with Hayley Miller, click here.