So I have been asked a lot lately about what my “foundations” {philosophy and strategy} of youth ministry and ministry in general are.  Honestly, if you would have asked me in college, I wouldn’t have a clue what you were saying and would probably think you were foolish for even asking me.  I’ve grown a lot over the past 9 years. 🙂  So here are my “foundations”… let me draw a picture:

Philosophical “foundations”:

Worship – “Reach Up”:

There needs to be a part of every ministry that draws people into the presence and worship of God.  There needs to be a place where people can hear about Jesus in a non-threatening environment… and where the church can gather together corporately to worship Him.  In modern day terms… this would be considered the “attractional” part of your church.

Community – “Reach In”:

There needs to be a place where people experience community, fellowship, and discipleship.  A true “life-on-life” part of the ministry.  People grow best in the context of small groups.  That isn’t just a Willow Creekism… I’ve seen it in my own life, in the lives of people in my small group, and in the lives of students that I have pastored.  This is where ownership and belonging happens.  This becomes the “communional” part of your ministry.

Outreach/Mission – “Reach Out”:

The church needs to be on mission in their community, in their country, and in their world.  It can’t just be something that you talk about.  It can’t just be something that you throw money at.  It MUST BE a value that you hold and promote.  You should put as much into the “Reach Out” basket as you put into the “Reach Up” or “Reach In” basket.  This is the “missional” aspect of your ministry.


This becomes pretty easy once you know your philosophy.

“Reach Up” = Large group gathering for corporate worship.

“Reach In” = Small group environments for people to connect and grow and “do life” together.

“Reach Out” = Serving environments where people are encouraged to use the gifts (time, talent, treasure) that God has given them to serve others and BE the hands and feet of Christ to someone else.


2 thoughts on “Foundations

  1. Hey Sam,

    This is Andy Blanks from youthministry360. Just wanted you to know that I have really enjoyed the blog. I’m planning on linking this post in tomorrow’s Flashback Friday. Which I think makes two in a row for you ??? You’re on a roll! 🙂 Just kidding! But seriously, I really enjoy your voice. Love what you have to say about youth ministry.

    God Bless,

    1. Hey Andy,
      thanks for the comment and the repost. I have LOVED reading through the 360 blog for the past year. It has really been a great resource for me. Thanks for doing what you do.


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