A Youth Leader Worth Following

Many times, stepping into youth ministry can easily make you feel overwhelmed, underqualified, and in over your head.

Identifying key qualities that a youth leader must possess will not only be effective, but will also leave a long-term impact. These five qualities will set you up to be a youth leader worth following.

1. Having Spiritual Sharpness

This generation is looking for leaders who model what they believe before students believe what they say. We must be the standard.

  • Be mindful of how you speak, how you interact on social media, and filter the media you take in. The standard you live by is far more important than the words you speak.
  • Remember: The disciples walked out their faith. This is what will begin to influence students in the right direction.
  • In youth leadership, prayer and fasting is more crucial than ever. It is important for you to have a sensitivity to God’s voice cultivated through the reading of the Word, prayer, and fasting.

2. Being Present

Never underestimate the power of being PRESENT in the life a student.

  • This simply means being fully present when you are hanging out in youth environments or at church.
  • Here are some examples! : High-fiving on the weekend and taking genuine interest, knowing when they have a big test and asking them about it, or showing up to their games/plays. (This means MORE than you know.)
  • Being PRESENT in their lives means PARTNERING with their families.
    • We do this by keeping family informed and involved in the church life of their student!
    • The key is understanding their family is always going to be more present in their life (whether that is a positive or negative experience).

3. Being Purposeful

It is important to understand that to be present without being purposeful will only produce a peer relationship, but to be present AND purposeful will produce long term impact.

  • People will take you seriously when you have something serious to offer them
  • Be purposeful by knowing and understanding what a student’s next step is. Bible reading, prayer, devotion, journaling, baptism, etc.
  • Help students understand the importance of moving forward in their journey (this is CAUGHT not TAUGHT)

4. Being Consistent

This may sound similar to being present, but you CAN be inconsistently present and hurt a students growth more than help it.

  • Do not give up! The toughest students I’ve seen in student ministry have always let their guard down when they knew their youth leader was not going anywhere.
  • Never make empty promises that make a connection in the moment but do not play out in the long run.
  • Most students are coming from a background where they are used to adults being inconsistent. Our goal is that we would not add fuel to the fire of a generation that battles rejection more than any other generation before it!
  • The best consistency you can show as a leader and THE most important thing you can do is consistently point them to JESUS as their source and not you!!
    • This means continually challenging them to pursue and hear the voice of God on their own! Point to God’s word.
    • Phillipians 4:8 NLT - 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

5. Having FUN

Following Jesus should be an adventure and we should model LIFE more abundantly

  • You should laugh A LOT in youth ministry. Have inside jokes!
  • Laughter builds community, which builds relationship, which leads to openness, which leads to life change.
  • Don’t just water the leaves, but water the root.


Chris Hodges

Church of the Highlands

Whitney George

Church on the Move

Paul Daugherty

Victory Church

Stephen Hayes

Covenant Church

Travis Green

Forward City Church

Jonathan Stockstill

Bethany Church

Larry Stockstill

Surge Project

Joel Stockstill

Gateway Church


Bethany Worship & Travis Greene



ends Febuary 22 2019







groups 5+


groups 20+

Chris Hodges

Church of the Highlands

Chris Hodges is founding and senior pastor of Church of the Highlands with campuses all across the state of Alabama. Since it began in 2001, Church of the Highlands has grown to average more than 47,000 people attending each weekend and is known for its life-giving culture and focus on leading people to an intimate relationship with God. Chris has a deep passion for developing leaders and planting life-giving churches. He co-founded ARC (Association of Related Churches) in 2001, which has launched hundreds of churches all across the USA. He also founded Grow, a one-of-a-kind experience specializing in training and resourcing pastors and churches to help them break barriers and reach their growth potential. Chris is also the founder and President of Highlands College, a ministry training school that educates, equips, and empowers students to lead lives of eternal impact.Chris and his wife Tammy have five children and live in Birmingham, Alabama, where Church of the Highlands began. He speaks at conferences worldwide and is the author of Fresh Air, Four Cups and The Daniel Dilemma.

Whitney George

Church on the Move

Whit has served at Church on the Move for over 20 years in various positions, currently as Lead Pastor, overseeing all areas of ministry and day-to-day operations of the church. For 10 years, he led the Church on the Move Arts team and is widely respected in the church world for his innovative thinking and the unique service experiences he’s helped create.

After leading Church on the Move through a major transition in the way we worship, Whit founded the Seeds church resources site along with the Seeds Conference which hosts 2,500 church leaders from all over the world, refreshing and empowering them with tools for more effective, dynamic ministry.

Whit and his wife Heather have five children: Francis, Lucy, Elliot, Zuzu, and Beatrix. He is a huge Notre Dame football fan.



Paul Daugherty, along with his wife Ashley, serve as the Lead Pastors of Victory in Tulsa, OK.

Paul speaks weekly at Victory's services while ministering to various audiences through TV & podcast and reaches thousands of people with God's Word on a weekly basis.

Paul and Ashley have three young boys, Liam, Benaiah and Mac. They also travel around the world speaking at churches, conferences, and crusades. His style of preaching is described as refreshingly transparent, uplifting, and practical.

Paul's desire is that people feel empowered and challenged to step out and fulfill God’s purpose for their lives.

Paul is a graduate of Oral Roberts University, with a bachelor’s degree in Theology, and is currently working on his Master’s Degree at Oral Roberts University

Jonathan Stockstill

Bethany Church

Jonathan Stockstill is the third-generation lead pastor of Bethany Church, a multicampus congregation in southern Louisiana with more than 8,000 in weekly attendance. In addition to providing dynamic leadership, Jonathan is highly regarded for his innovative and creative approach to ministry and his dedication to the local church.

Pastor Jonathan leads with fresh vision, excitement, passion, and creative ideas to win Baton Rouge and surrounding areas for Christ. His heart to see lives transformed by the power of God and to see people experience new life in Christ is the bedrock of his vision for this new chapter of Bethany’s story.

A world-renowned worship leader, Pastor Jonathan has been leading worship at Bethany since he was 16 years old. A prolific songwriter, he has written or co written more than 70 songs for the body of Christ and has played the piano and guitar for over 20 years. His accomplishments in worship include producing notable worship albums both with Deluge Band and Bethany Worship, as well as partnering on projects with notable worship artists such as BJ Putnam, William McDowell, David & Nicole Binion, and Israel Houghton.

Larry Stockstill

Surge Project

Pastor Larry Stockstill is the former pastor of Bethany Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Roy Stockstill, Larry's father, began the church in 1963 and Larry became pastor in 1983. His son, Jonathan, became Bethany's pastor in 2011.

Pastor Larry Stockstill has been married to his wife, Melanie, for 39 years and has six children, all of whom serve with him in the Bethany ministry.

Pastor Larry is the author of "The Remnant: Restoring Integrity to American Ministry" which is being distributed worldwide to promote renewed standards of holiness in leadership. His latest book "Model Man: From Integrity to Legacy” has sparked a Model Man movement. Churches all over the country have been setting up small group series based off this book to challenge men to live Godly, influential, powerful lives.

Pastor Larry is also the Director of the Surge Project, a church planting initiative that has planted over 23,000 rural church worldwide in twelve world zones from 2001-2014.

Joel Stockstill

Gateway Church

Joel has been a prophetic voice to his generation for over a decade. God has used him to effect the lives of countless young people, mentor thousands of leaders, and ignite passion for Jesus in the heart of a generation.

He is best known for his leadership of the 220 youth movement (Bethany Church, BR, LA) where over 7000 kids were discipled weekly.

He has served as a campus pastor, executive pastor, and now travels full time from Dallas, TX ministering to youth, young adults, leaders, and local churches.

Stephen Hayes

Covenant Church