Crash Courses in Youth Ministry | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
September 2021

Crash Courses in Youth Ministry

By Chris Wilterdink

A crash course condenses lots of practical material so that you can read and understand that material quickly. A crash course is not where we strap you behind the wheel of a youth ministry bus, point you downhill toward the goal of inspiring youth to live Christ-like lives, and say, “Hope you don’t crash!” as you hit every bump in the road on your way to making disciples.

Each of our new Crash Courses in Youth Ministry is loaded with practical tips and basic wisdom that you can read today and put into practice tomorrow. If you are a part-time or no-time (amazing volunteer!) youth worker, these crash courses are especially for you. Also, if you are a pastoral leader and find yourself leading youth ministry for the first time in a while, these crash courses are excellent refreshers and guides to help you recognize how the game has changed.

Each Crash Courses in Youth Ministry eBook is between 3,000-6,000 words, meaning that you should be able to read and process the resource in just an hour or two. We approach each topic with accessibility for the youth workers in mind, no matter if they are paid or volunteer. The materials are topically focused, and we (very successfully) include humor (most of the time)—except for when we don’t.

Crash Courses eLearning Course Coming Soon! Click here to be notified when the course is ready!

These eBooks are free to download. Just click the links below and provide contact information so that we can continue to share resources and opportunities to support the youth ministry that you are called to lead.

Available Now!

  • Recruiting Volunteers – How can you identify high-potential candidates for volunteers? How do you make an effective request? Click here to download.
  • Keeping Volunteers – How can you help volunteers feel valued and connected? How can you minister with them and reduce the burden of always recruiting volunteers? Click here to download. Click here to download.
  • Fundraising – How can you pay for all this stuff? How do you figure out the most effective use of your time and energy to generate money and excitement for youth? Click here to download.

DOWNLOAD a bundle of these three eBooks.

  • Methodist Heritage and Beliefs – How can the historical background and basic theology of Methodism shape today’s youth ministry? How can you create a theologically consistent experience for youth and their families? Click here to download.
  • Administration – How can spending a little time behind the scenes make you more effective as a leader? How can you create more time and space to do the things you really love about ministry? Click here to download.
  • Trips and Retreats – How do you determine where to go and what to do with extended periods of time for faith experiences? How can your church be a better partner for service organizations, camps, and retreat destinations? Click here to download.
  • Self-Care & Sabbath – How can setting boundaries and time for you to connect with God improve your leadership? How can you tell the difference between self-care activities and honest-to-goodness Sabbath time where you intentionally provide time and personal space for God? Click here to download.

DOWNLOAD a bundle of these four eBooks

  • Discipleship – How can you be intentional about creating disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world? How do you know lives are changing because of spiritual growth in your ministry? Click here to download.
  • Digital Youth Ministry – How can you be in the places and share messages that really matter? How can you build relationships in ministry while not in the same room? Click here to download.
  • Speaking Adolescent – How can brain science affect the way that you and your team teach? How can learning about adolescent development improve opportunities to learn about God? Click here to download.

DOWNLOAD a bundle of these three eBooks

Young People’s Ministries provides regular, relevant, and theologically consistent resources for leaders of youth and young-adult ministry in Methodist settings through email, social media, and on our webpage,

DOWNLOAD all available 'Crash Courses' eBooks

Chris serves as Director of Young People’s Ministries for Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Chris has a BA in English Education, and an MS in Project Management, and over 15 years of local-church youth ministry experience. He is passionate about leadership and faith development in young people and helping ministry leaders understand their value in the lives of young people. A Stephen Minister, Chris is a native of Colorado living in Franklin, TN with his wife Emily, 2 children, and sausage-shaped beagle.