Session 1

Introduction to Youth Ministry and Discipleship

This first session focuses on the question of what we really mean when we talk about Youth Ministry. While this concept varies from place to place, we are starting with two simple concepts: First, that Youth Ministry is best done with youth, rather than to them or for them; and Second, that one of the primary goals of this ministry is to disciple young people through helping them discover a faith of their own.

Session 1: Introduction to Youth Ministry and Discipleship

Big idea: Laying the groundwork for what youth ministry is, who it is with, and getting on the same page for this journey.

Session Video Lectures

Understanding Discipleship
What is Youth Ministry?
Why do you want a Youth Ministry?
Some Basic Principles for Youth Ministry

Suggested Resources

When you can, please give attention to these suggested materials:

The Barna Group (research group) – research on youth ministry (priorities, challenges, and trends), why it is needed, and what it can do

A youth minister from the Episcopal church shares 5 principles of youth ministry she learned at a conference.

Groups to check out that are at the forefront of youth ministry: YouthSpecialties and The Fuller Youth Institute. Both have great things to listen to, learn about, and explore on their sites.

Growing Young by Brad Griffin, Jake Mulder, and Kara E. Powell at the Fuller Youth Institute

Youth Ministry Conversations Podcast: A series interviewing youth ministers who have been serving for a different number of years in their ministry.

After the Session: Research, Action, and Reflection

Below are suggestions for further research and activities to engage in as you look to start a project for you group. There are no grades! We want to encourage trying something new and learning from mistakes and successes. Let us know how it goes. Feel free to use the public question board to post your reflections or send a private note to the leaders.

Write (just for yourself) – why are you doing this? What is the point? What is the purpose? Why will it matter in 10 years?

Ask others involved in youth ministry with you – why are we doing this?


Sara Clarke Turpin


Rev. Sara Clarke Turpin is Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Buechel Park Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, where she has served since 2013. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from BSK: Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, along with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown College with majors in Religion and Business Administration: Management and minors in Church Music and Psychology. She has been both a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) Scholar and Fellow and served on the CBF Kentucky Coordinating Council and Execitive Committee. Before coming to Buechel Park, Sara served as the Youth Minister at Melbourne Heights Baptist Church in Louisville for four years.

Andrew Noe


Andrew Noe serves at East Leonard CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigian as the Pastor of Faith Formation. He is a proud graduate of the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, is passionate about bringing creativity to ministry, and enjoys working with teenagers. He is married to the wonderful Hannah, and they have two spectacular kids – Gwen and Benjamin. His side passions are comic books, lego and video games.

Justin Sizemore


Justin Sizemore is the Minister to Youth at Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. He is a graduate of the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University and a proud Georgetown College Tiger! He has been involved in Youth Ministry as a volunteer, assistant, chaperone, and now minister for over 14 years. Youth Ministry is his passion and calling.

Justin is married to Abby Sizemore (The FABULOUS Director of Admissions for the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky!!!) and they have two wonderful daughters, Ann-Thomas and their most recent addition, Edith (Edie).

Questions, Comments and Ideas

Have a question or comment about the ideas in this session? Want to ask the course designers a question?

Leave it in the comments area below.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

flourish courses

Flourish courses offer great learning opportunities around key topics designed to help equip church leaders for vibrant ministry. These short-term courses are offered online and are affordable.

upcoming courses

Additional Flourish Courses are coming! Plan to register for Essential Topics in Youth Ministry, coming Spring 2021.