Youth worker training guide
This manual can be given to the adult volunteers (I call them “youth workers”) who teach Sunday School or Confirmation class, or who help at your youth group. It can also be used as a guide for a training workshop in your parish.

The best idea for a simple ministry to youth, this video talks about making young people feel welcome, wanted, and never giving up on them.

Intro to Youth Ministry

  • Youth Ministry 101 (PDF): a simple guide for starting a youth program at your parish.
  • Manual for Hiring 2017 (PDF) includes sample job descriptions and salary info
  • Books I strongly recommend for Youth Ministers (all available on
    • Beginner:
      • My First Two Years in Youth Ministry: A personal and practical guide to starting right by Doug Fields
      • Creating Classrooms where Teachers Love to Teach and Students Love to Learn by Bob Sornson (or any Love & Logic resources)
      • The Episcopal Christian Educator’s Handbook by Sharon Ely Pearson
    • Intermediate:
      • Sustainable Youth Ministry: Why most youth ministry doesn’t last and what you can do about it by Mark DeVries
      • Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus by Mark Yaconelli
    • Advanced:
      • Growing Young: 6 Essential Strategies to help young people discover and love your church by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin (We’ve been doing presentations on this around our diocese and have gotten several parish vestries to read this together.)
      • Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers by Chap Clark

Youth Missioner Files

Resources from The Episcopal Church

Awesome web sites that make youth ministry easier:

  • Canva: amazingly simple graphic design (free as long as you upload your own images)
  • The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding (CPYU): lots of information on youth culture
  • The Center for Spiritual Resources – A comprehensive collection of resources for your spiritual journey, including events, articles, programs, blogs, audio and video resources, and much more.
  • D365 – daily devotional site
  • Download Youth Ministry: Quality resources (games, lessons, videos, leader training, etc.) that are easy, inexpensive, and trench-tested.
  • Happening National: Happening is a Christian experience presented by teenagers for teenagers with the help of clergy and lay adult leadership.
  • The Holy Geek: Geeky church talk and tech tips.
  • The Source for Youth Ministry: free resources and ideas, articles, training, etc.
  • Thoughts of a Christian Educator: each year she publishes reviews of all the current Sunday School curriculums, VBS programs, and Confirmation curriculums
  • Youth Ministry 360: Youth Ministry, Full Circle: Bible Resources, Training, Community, Networking
  • Youth Specialties: National Youth Workers Convention and Team Training, curriculum, books, Bible, training, blog, etc.
  • YS Programming: A Rundown of the most recent Programming Ideas from around Youth Ministry.

Initiative Games (games with purpose):

Confirmation Programs I recommend:

  • My Faith My Life: a web site with resources for teens and mentors in Confirmation, especially those utilizing the book of the same title.
  • Confirm not Conform: confirmation curriculum for youth and adults; also a blog on youth confirmation topics

Curriculum & Lessons for Sunday School or Youth Group:

  • Group: lots of books, curriculum, mission trips, and a great magazine
  • Leader Resources: LeaderResources offers a large collection of downloadable Christian Formation Resources — for children’s ministry, youth groups, adult education, congregational development and more!
  • Living the Good News: lectionary-based curriculum
  • Peer Ministry Leadership: relational ministry skills training and curriculum for Middle School, High School, and College students (this is the training program the Youth Program uses with their Peer Ministers).
  • Sermons for Kids
  • The Skit Guys: They’ve been teaching God’s word using comedy, drama and whatever category talking action figures fit into for over twenty years. Videos, books, and skits available for purchase.
  • Storypath: Connecting children’s literature with our faith story
  • Text Week: lectionary, scripture study, worship links, and resources
  • Worshiping with Children (lectionary based)
  • Youth Group Games
  • Youth Leader Stash: games, talks, event ideas, resources, “Monday Money Movies” (the latest viral YouTube videos appropriate to share at Youth Group)

Engaging Children in Worship

Bibles I Recommend for Children and Youth:

  • CEB Deep Blue Kids Bible, age range 7-11 years
  • Kids Spark NRSV Bible, grades 3-6
  • Spark Story Bible (150 of the most popular Bible Stories, for younger children)
  • NIV Quest Study Bible: The Question and Answer Bible
  • Serendipity Bible: For Personal and Small Group Study (NIV)
  • The Brick Bible (the Bible illustrated with Legos)
  • The Action Bible (the Bible in Comic Book format)
  • The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language

If you have any great internet resources you would like to share, e-mail them to Youth Missioner, Karen Schlabach at

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