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Faith Formation: Youth Ministry

Resources including: Children & Family Curricula & Storytime; Confirmation/Affirmation of Baptism; Denominational Resources; Tween & Teen Mental and Spiritual Health; Sexuality & Identity; and Online/At-Home Tech

Books & Downloads 3 Big Questions That Shape Your Future: 9781540902627: Powell,  Kara, Acevedo, Kristel, M Griffin, Brad: Books               The Emotional Lives of Teenagers by Lisa Damour, Ph.D.     Girl/Friend Theology | God-Talk with Young People (Baker)                    Teaching at Twilight     To Mend the World: A New Vision for Youth Ministry                  BL_PsalmsOfMyPeople_Cover_9781506479026c               We Rise Higher: Poems and Prayers for Graduates     Your New Playlist: The Student's Guide to Tapping into the Superpower of  Mindset: Acuff, Jon, Acuff, L.E., Acuff, McRae: 9781540902481:  Books     Book Image Not Available     Youth Beyond the Developmental Lens: Being over Becoming

Going Beyond Pizza & Dodgeball: What Works in Youth Ministry

In Going Beyond Pizza & Dodgeball: What Works in Youth Ministry video, we share new survey and focus group data in a 35-minute presentation, pulled from 1200 young participants in Christian organizations, and over 1600 adults who work in Christian youth ministry. Reflections from young Springtide Ambassadors bring a new depth of understanding to the data.

Diverse group of young peopleLeading Ideas Talks Podcast — Episode 127

“The Changing Contours of Youth Ministry” featuring Deech Kirk

What new approaches to youth ministry are emerging in our post-Covid era? Deech Kirk of the Center for Youth Ministry Training describes some of the common challenges confronting youth ministry today and some of the characteristics of the newer, innovative ministry models that are taking shape. Listen nowread transcript, and watch on YouTube.

Learn how young people experience the sacred and how it impacts their lives, both online and offline. Springtide Research Institute's research shows that young people experience sacred moments. And that these moments make life more meaningful.

This report will help you create opportunities to see the sacred for young people:

  • Discover the concept of Sacred Sensibility—the capacity for young people to see, appreciate, and respond to the sacred.
  • Enrich young people’s spiritual journeys and help set the stage for greater personal and spiritual growth, and connection.

Curriculum - Lectionary/Bible Based

Connecting Faith and Justice: Youth Lectionary Curriculum

From the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, 2018 (United Methodist Church), this curriculum 'is designed to help students actively engage the intersection of faith and justice and explore why our faith compels us toward justice. Appropriate for junior and senior high.

It is available to download ...for free [here]

Watch Chuck Knows Church | Prime VideoWays To Use The Original Series

Worship: Many congregations use Chuck each week in worship.

Meetings: Open a church meeting with Chuck; it helps set the tone.

Confirmation: All confirmands should be introduced to the topics addressed by Chuck.

New Member Classes: Select those episodes that work for you. 

Youth Group: Chuck can open a great discussion on a topic. 

Family: Show a Chuck to your family and see what happens!

Post to Facebook: Post each week’s episode to your personal or congregation’s Facebook page.

Sermon Series: Choose 3-4 episodes as the opening to a sermon series. 

Late-night snack: Grab a snack and watch a couple Chuck Knows Church episodes before nodding off.

Feasting on the Word

This curriculum revolves around exploring Bible stories through the lectionary cycle. The youth curriculum is part of a collection of formation curriculum for the whole church so that children, youth, and adults can engage the same lectionary scriptures in age-appropriate ways. The full scope and sequence of 52 lessons from September 2023 – August 2024 focuses the majority of sessions on the gospel readings with select OT, NT, and Psalms texts interspersed. Lessons include:

  • group games and activities
  • scripture reading and discussion
  • prayer

You can check out sample lessons on the curriculum website.

Echo the Story invites youth to engage scripture as a series of stories within a story through wondering, reflection, and creative activities. Video recaps connect previous week’s stories to new lessons; sketchbooks facilitate students’ drawings, writing, and conversations. It spans the Old and New Testaments and comes in two versions: a 12-lesson edition (see the scope and sequence here) and a 36-lesson edition (see the scope and sequence here). You can view sample lessons on the publisher’s website.

It's geared toward middle and high school youth (may be most appropriate for middle school).

Fathom Bible Studies: The Beginnings Student Journal (Genesis)Fathom: A Deep Dive into the Story of God is a series of Bible studies that explore stories across the Old and New Testaments. It seeks to enable youth to ask hard questions and address complexities involved in interpreting scripture. Each series consists of 4 lessons on a particular topic, biblical book, or set of biblical books, and the full curriculum covers 18 different series.

Lessons include:

  • group games

  • journaling activities

  • scripture readings

  • discussion questions

  • prayer

The study is also designed for youth to share in leading the sessions among their peers with adult leaders. You can check out sample lessons on the curriculum website.

  • Appropriate for middle and high school youth

Curriculum - Relational/Justice-Based

Remind Me Again Facilitator Guide: 41 Sessions Based on the Poetry of Joe DavisPoet, artist, and educator Joe Davis has written Remind Me Again: Poems and Practices for Remembering Who We Are, a collection of 41 poems that will inspire, challenge, and affirm readers from all stages of life. These poems speak to our mind, body, and spirit, to our community, and to our purpose. Each poem includes a “Try This Practice” to help readers connect the themes to their everyday lives. This book has three sections:

  • My Mind, Body, and Spirit: Reminders for Myself
  • My Community: Reminders for Each Other
  • My Purpose: Reminders for the World

Rev. Jia Starr Brown Remind Me Again Facilitator Guide: 41 Sessions Based on the poetry of Joe Davis in Remind Me Again will foster meaningful discussions about Joe’s poetry and facilitate more meaningful connections within community. 
This resource can be used as a 10-minute addition to a lesson or as a full 41-week curriculum of hour-long sessions.

Connecting Faith and Justice: Youth Lectionary Curriculum

From the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, 2018 (United Methodist Church), this curriculum 'is designed to help students actively engage the intersection of faith and justice and explore why our faith compels us toward justice. Appropriate for junior and senior high.

It is available to download ...for free [here]


This 12-lesson digital companion curriculum is designed to introduce children to the concepts of holy troublemaking as modeled by the people profiled in Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints, from diverse faiths, who worked for love, compassion, and justice, even when that rocked the religious boat. These lessons ask questions such as: What is holy and good trouble? What is not? What lessons can we learn from those who have gone before on this path? How do we keep our joy and inner peace while working for a world where all can flourish? What might my contribution be?

These lessons are designed for middle-grade children (ages 8–14) with activity options for younger and older participants.

There are three versions (licenses) available based on the size of your organization: Personal/Family, Church 1-100 Members, and Church 100+ Members.

Peer Ministry Leadership – Leadership Training Peer Ministry works with all denominations. The theology is Christian, and flows from the Good Samaritan Story, with emphases on relational caring, welcoming and affirming skills. PML is a good fit for many denominations and adapts well for various settings. Programs include:

Shine: Living in God’s Light engages middle school youth in a three-year exploration of stories across the Old and New Testaments. It prioritizes commitments to love, justice, and peace.

Lessons include:

  • group activities and games

  • scripture reading

  • discussion questions

  • ways to connect scripture with contemporary life and issues

  • prayer

The scope and sequence for one year consists of approximately 39 weekly lessons from September through May. You can check out sample lessons on the curriculum website.

Appropriate for middle school youth (grades 6 – 8); children’s versions of the curriculum are also available

Curriculum - Spiritual Practices-Based

Coloring & Conversation: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love is the first in a series of resources that provide conversation prompts, questions, and other tools to accompany Illustrated Ministry's coloring pages. It is supported by Advent Coloring Pages and Advent Coloring Posters. Learn more here.

Engage youth, college students and/or an intergenerational group.

Animate: PracticesAnimate seeks to facilitate formative learning, conversation, critical and creative thinking, and practices about central dimensions of Christian faith and life. The curriculum addresses three main topics: FaithBible, and Practices (see links for each scope and sequence). Each topic contains 7 lessons that feature videos with church leaders and scholars as well as journals to prompt group discussion.

Written for adults, but appropriate for high school youth (grades 9-12).

It is designed for adults of all ages, but may be beneficial for high school youth. You can view sample materials on the publisher’s website.

Current - a flexible curriculum for the whole church - provides opportunities for in-depth exploration of core dimensions of Christian life.

Tailored to four age groups — preschool children, elementary age children, youth, and adults — and intergenerational groups - the whole community can participate in a common formation program. It consists of 3 different series, each containing 13 lessons ​​​​​​​(see links for each scope and sequence):

Lessons for youth include:

  • group activities

  • scripture reading with reader’s theater scripts

  • discussion questions

  • prayer

Appropriate for middle and high school youth.

You can view sample lessons on the curriculum website.

Curricula Lists

Download Youth Ministry - Home | FacebookDownload Youth Ministry


Every DYM resource is authored by a youth worker (just like you, from around the world!) and vetted by seasoned youth workers. We value the diversity that comes from a variety of youth ministry voices working together.

Graduation/Post-High School

Whether you’re putting together gifts for high school/college graduates or looking for a nice, simple gift to give your volunteers and Sunday School teachers...Illustrated Ministry has a wide range of products to suit your needs:

ZOE ~ Progressive Christians Life on Campus
A global fellowship of college and university students and campus ministry leaders, asking the messy questions of faith, finding grace and humility in the search for understanding, believing there is more value in curious questioning than static absolutes. Read more...

In Our Library - Activities & Games

Paperback The Gigantic Book of Games for Youth Ministry Volume 1 Book

Activities & Games

100 Funny Debate Topics and Questions for Any Occasion [2024 Updated] -  Springworks Blog100 Thought-Provoking and Funny Debate Topics and Questions for Any Occasion [2024 Updated]

Includes: The Benefits of Debating; How to Choose a Debate Topic; and several lists of topics and questions for a variety of scenarios.

Big Brain Bible Games | Baker Publishing Group

Blogs, Podcasts & Articles

2A Youth Workers Guide to Helping Teens With Anxiety

by Rev. Monica Harbarger, MA, NCC, LPC-S

This free, short guide, designed specifically for youth workers, gives practical tips and practices to help you journey alongside your teens through the difficulties of anxiety. 

CLICK HERE to Read More

3Social Media and the Anxiety Pandemic

Dr. David White, explores the unprecendented stress teenagers feel and how youth ministry can rewrite our social narratives.

CLICK HERE to Read More

Comparisons: How social media impacts Gen Z mental healthComparisons: How social media impacts Gen Z mental health


  (in Mental Health)

See also:

IllustrationTake Away Their Cellphones

… So we can rewire schools for belonging and achievement

by Doug Lemov in Education Next

Why follow Jesus if you don’t believe all of scripture?

by Rev. Dr. Robin Meyers


God Is No Longer a Working Number: Rethinking Christianity for the Twenty-first Century

by Martin Thielen

Both include helpful insights when walking youth through faith and the Bible.

Helping teens resist oppression online by Rev. Dana Neuhauser, racial justice organizer for the Minnesota Annual Conference UMC

Happy young adultsYouth Ministry by Any Other Name


Kenda Creasy Dean writes that today ministry with young people often means finding young people where they live and work and embedding the church beside them as they seek meaning, purpose, and belonging. She says that Christian social innovation, especially, has become an alternate context for ministry with young people.

In Our Library

Book - Paperback     52 Ways to Ignite Your Congregation | Youth Ministry (Case)          All the Best Questions!: And Some Answers, Too     Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church  -     By: Kenda Creasy Dean          9781640654822: Bad Things, Good People, and God: A Guide for Teens     The Barefoot Way          Beyond the Screen: Youth Ministry for the Connected But Alone Generation  -     By: Andrew Zirschky     1094071     Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker: A Theological Vision for Discipleship and Life Together by [Andrew Root]     Book, Bath, Table, and Time | Christian Worship as Source and Resource for Youth Ministry (Edie)          1072481     1289656                    Children, Youth, and Spirituality in a Troubling World                    9780829816167: Doing Girlfriend Theology: God-Talk with Young Women     Exploding Stars, Dead Dinosaurs, and Zombies: Youth Ministry in the Age of Science     9781770645745: Faith Forward: A Dialogue on Children, Youth, and A New Kind of Christianity     Faith Forward : Re-Imagining Children's and Youth Ministry     Faith Forward Volume 3: Launching a Revolution through Ministry with Children, Youth, and Families  -     Edited By: David M. Csinos     A Faith of Their Own – Stability and Change in the Religiosity of America's Adolescents - Oxford Scholarship Online     The Faith and Friendships of Teenage Boys  -     By: Robert C. Dykstra, Allan Hugh Cole Jr., Donald Capps     Faithful Questions     Finding God in the Graffiti | Empowering Teenagers Through Their Stories (Rogers)     The Gift of Hard Things          Go Deep: Spiritual Practices For Youth Ministry  -     By: Doris Kizinna          9780835899192: The God-Hungry Imagination: The Art of Storytelling for Postmodern Youth Ministry          Growing Souls: Experiments in Contemplative Youth Ministry - eBook  -     By: Mark Yaconelli     Growing Young: 6 Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church  -     By: Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, Brad Griffin     Help! I'm a Sunday School Teacher!   -     By: Ray Johnston     9780829818536: Holy Things for Youth Ministry: 13 Practical Sessions     9780819221964: Hungry Souls, Holy Companions: Mentoring a New Generation of Christians     Imaginative Prayer for Youth Ministry     Paperback It's Not Conformation: Confirmation Sermons from the Front Lines of Post-Christendom Youth Ministry Book     Kitchen Table Youth Ministry | Inviting God to Dinner (Strukova)               Losers, Loners, and Rebels: The Spiritual Struggles of Boys  -     By: Robert C. Dykstra, Allan Hugh          Image 1     Ministry by Teenagers: Developing Leaders from Within  -     By: Jonathan McKee, David R. Smith     Missional Youth Ministry          Now That You're A Youth Leader: Thriving in the Early Years of Youth Ministry  -     By: Jeremy Steele     Nurturing Different Dreams  -     By: Katherine Turpin, Anne Carter Walker     OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook  -     Edited By: Kenda Creasy Dean    By: Kenda Creasy Dean, ed.     Organic Student Ministry: Trash the Pre-Packaged Programs and Transform Your Youth Group - eBook  -     By: Stephen L. Ingram     Practicing Discernment with Youth | A Transformative Youth Ministry Approach (White)     Raising Hope: Four Paths to Courageous Living for Black Youth  -     By: Anne E. Wimberly, Sarah Frances Farmer     Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry     2998655          Shaped by the Story : Helping Students Encounter God in a New Way               Book - Paperback          Soul Searching – The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers - Oxford Scholarship Online     Paperback Soul Shaper Book     9780687030798: Soul Tending: Life Forming Practices for Older Youth and Young Adults          Sticky Faith: Teen Curriculum   -     By: Kara E. Powell, Brad M. Griffin                         Taking Theology to Youth Ministry  -     By: Andrew Root     The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry     When Kids Ask Hard Questions: Faith-filled Responses for Tough Topics     Who Am I?: Exploring What It Means to Be... book by Katherine Paterson     Wonder, Fear, and Longing, Paperback          

Picture of Delicious Bible Stories     9781791020255: Milk and Honey Cooking School