Sustainable Practices for Ministry

The Sustainable Practices for Youth Ministry resource was developed in 2014 by the Network of National Youth Ministry Leaders based on similar documents from the UK, Canada and the USA. It contains seven practices that help churches engage with their youth ministry leaders to empower them and develop a sustainable ministry. We believe these seven practices can be applied to both youth and children’s ministry leaders and when churches take these practices on board they can put into place a system which strengthens these ministry leaders for the long-term.

Children’s and Youth Ministries are important and vital parts of the church. We must be reaching the next generation and guiding them as they navigate the increasing pressures in today’s world. To do this well we must support our leaders and volunteers as they invest time into relationships and ministry. Too often leaders face burn out and disillusionment.

We have adapted the wording from the full resource to include children’s ministry leaders. 

Sustainable practices for church management of key youth and children’s leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand

The seven sustainable practices contain beliefs and promises which churches and Christian organisations make about the principles they will use in managing ministry leaders and volunteers.

  1. We will pray and spiritually support
  • We believe that our youth and children’s leaders need spiritual support in their work with young people.
  • We promise to pray for our youth and children’s leaders and make supporting their spiritual life a high priority.
  1. We will give space for reflection and rest
  • We believe that taking regular time away helps maintain our youth and children’s leader’s passion and energy for his or her work with young people.
  • We promise to require our youth and children’s leaders to take appropriate and regular breaks from ministry for personal refreshment and reflection.
  1. We will provide ongoing training and development
  • We believe that learning the skills of youth and children’s work is an ongoing process and that it’s important to continually invest in professional development.
  • We promise to set aside time and money to provide training and development for our youth and children’s leaders.
  1. We will give freedom to lead
  • We believe that empowered leaders serve the church best.
  • We promise to entrust our youth and children’s leaders with the ministries they lead.
  1. We will share responsibility
  • We believe the whole church is responsible for our youth and children’s ministries.
  • We promise to encourage everyone to play a part in volunteering, supporting or praying for young people.
  1. We will provide good management
  • We believe it is important to follow best practice guidelines in the way we manage our youth and children’s ministries.
  • We promise to provide clear procedures and supportive structures to assist our youth and children’s leaders in managing our ministries.
  1. We will celebrate and appreciate
  • We believe it is vital to acknowledge what our youth and children’s leaders are doing and the commitment they have made to work with young people in our church.
  • We promise to make sure our youth and children’s leaders know that they are appreciated and we will celebrate their achievements.

We encourage you to gather with your leadership team and discuss how you can put these seven practices into place. 

More information is available online including:

  • Why does this resource exist?
  • Who has developed the sustainable practices resource?
  • How to use this resource
  • The seven sustainable practices unpacked and questions to consider for each one
  • Sustainable practices worksheets
  • Available in both Te Reo and English