5 Mistakes Every Youth Worker Makes and How to Avoid Them – Part 1

by: Gregg Farah  |  April 17th, 2015  |  Students  | 

1) Expect Too Much (often a rookie mistake)

If you’re new in ministry, you likely have grand plans and vision that would make corporate giants want to hire you as a a consultant. Vision is a good problem! It’s important to set big goals and believe we serve the God of the impossible. Therefore, we need to dream big and pray for miracles. The challenge, however, is that when our expectations are not met, we can think there’s something wrong with us, our church, our students, other leaders, or parents.


  1. Dream big, but thank God for the results…even if they fail to come close to your expectations.

  2. Take notes. What did you learn from the experience? What did you learn about how you led, how students responded, how the event or small group was scheduled.

  3. Get ready for the next lesson or event…because it’s probably just a week away.


2) Not Patient (often a rookie mistake)

Rick Warren teaches that we overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in ten years. We are victims of a microwave society. Since we have access to instant coffee, fast food, and social media devices that instantly connect us, we expect instant disciples. A student confesses an addiction to food, sex, or alcohol, and we’re frustrated when he or she isn’t “fixed” a week later.


  1. Slow down and stay put. The biggest impact you can make is to stay involved in the same ministry for years. Or, choose to follow a group of students until they graduate–from college! Start working w/ 6 or 7th graders and stay with them until the graduate from high school. Then stay engaged with them afterwards, too.

  2. Celebrate baby steps of faith. Maybe the students you work with can’t walk on water, but if they give up a Saturday night to serve senior citizens, that’s equally miraculous

Read part 2 of this post here.

Gregg Farah

Gregg is a native New Yorker who went to the west coast for college and seminary. He has 15+ years in student ministry, including serving on staff with Doug Fields at Saddleback Church, and successfully planted a church in Lower… Read More