Crystal Chiang leads Orange Students and has become a good friend of mine. I recently had the opportunity to interview her on my podcast. At the Youth Ministry Exchange, she brought some strong truths and encouragements as she talked about the importance of consistently showing up for students.

Here are my notes from her talk:

  • When it comes to youth ministry, I often don’t want to show up. While I feel weird admitting this, I’ve found it is a common feeling among youth leaders.
  • On the other hand, when I get done with an event, camp, service, etc., I often feel like it was incredibly worth it, and I am so glad I didn’t bail.
  • Consistently showing up is where the game is won or lost. 
    • It’s how you know a teenager.
    • It’s how you build trust.
    • It shapes how a kid sees God.
  • What does this mean for your context?
    • Maybe it’s time to try a different model. Stop doing youth ministry alone. Make a bigger ask of your volunteers for a longer commitment. 
    • Maybe it means thinking about our role different. It’s not just about fulfilling your job description and pulling off one or two programs a week.
  • We have to show up every week. Too much is at stake not to do so!
  • The most important thing we can do for teens this year is not a sermon, program, or game. It’s that we are there consistently for them.

What helps you consistently show up for students even on those days when it is tough?

Be sure to check out Orange Students’ guide for youth workers at

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