More than anything else I hear, youth workers tell me they want their ministry to grow. They don’t want a raise or to make a name for themselves, they just want to impact as many students as possible. Numbers matter because people matter!

While most all of us want to see our ministries grow, statistics tell us that most of us are not. Why? What makes one youth ministry grow while others don’t? I believe the key to sustainable growth is navigating the youth ministry growth dilemma.

So what’s the growth dilemma? In youth ministry, the growth dilemma is not having the structure to support new growth. More specifically, it’s not having enough leaders to support the growth we’re praying for. If we don’t have enough leaders to accommodate and navigate the growth we want, we will never see it.

Without enough leaders, explosive growth will cause your youth ministry to fall or stall. Too much growth will either destroy a ministry not ready for it or bring future growth to a screeching halt. Here’s what I’ve found in over a decade in youth ministry: God will not bless us with what we are not prepared to handle!

If you’re praying for God to grow your ministry by 100 students, do you have the group leaders and volunteers needed to do it? If you grew by 100 tomorrow would you be able to handle it? If not, you’re ministry isn’t ready to grow.

More than any other issues, I’m convinced the number one barrier to growth in youth ministry is a lack of leaders! This is the youth ministry growth dilemma. Developing more leaders is a pre-requisite for explosive ministry growth. Here’s the crux of the matter: If you can’t develop leaders, you can’t grow a youth ministry.

The good news is the growth dilemma is a scalable barrier. So if you want to overcome the growth dilemma and grow your youth ministry, do these three things.

3 Steps to Overcoming the Youth Ministry Growth Dilemma

1) Call Out Leaders

Calling out leaders means finding people and telling them they can lead. Most people have leadership potential, but no one has ever called out the greatness within them. The first step to overcoming the growth dilemma is calling out potential leaders.

2) Develop Leaders

Developing leaders means showing them how to lead and helping them take it to the next level. It means pushing them to grow and providing a process to get them where they want to be.

3) Let Them Lead

The best thing you can do for young leaders is to give them a chance. Give them a chance to lead something significant and take it to the finish line. This doesn’t mean throwing them to the wolves, but it does mean giving them permission to lead something that matters.

If you want your youth ministry to grow, take these three steps! How do you develop leaders in your ministry?