10-Second Tip: Follow Through

Jacob Eckeberger
June 2nd, 2016

At the NATIONAL YOUTH WORKERS CONVENTION, we stopped youth workers from all across the U.S. and asked them to share a 10-second youth ministry tip.


Don’t promise things to students if you don’t plan on following through.


A student needs to know that they can trust you with something little before they choose to trust you with something big. That’s why making good on all your promises— even the littlest ones—is important to showing a kid that you can be trusted. Not following through on the promises you make—again, even the simplest ones—is the fastest way to lose their trust. So here’s what I’d recommend for anyone working with students:

1) Make “I promise” a sacred statement. Only use it in conversations with students when it’s something that you really can follow through on.

2) If you promise to attend a student’s football game, musical, or any other event, pull out your phone in that moment and put it in your calendar. That way the student sees you marking it down and knows that you’re making it a priority.

3) When life happens and you can’t follow through on a promise that you’ve made, let the student know right away. Don’t wait until you see them next, but shoot them a quick text or message letting them know what came up. Be as honest as you can with them and sincerely apologize.

4) Make up for broken promises. If you have to break a promise, surprise them with a gift of some kind or with a special chance to hangout.

You won’t be perfect and you’ll make mistakes, just don’t miss the opportunity to make up for those mistakes. The trust you earn today will bear fruit in your relationship with them tomorrow.

Join us this year for the National Youth Workers Convention in Cincinnati, OH for way more tips and ministry ideas from the 50+ seminars and training opportunities. Register early for NYWC to save BIG: NYWC.COM.

JACOB ECKEBERGER is the Content Manager at Youth Specialties, an itinerant worship leader, the spouse of a church planter, and a long time volunteer youth worker. You can find him blogging about social media and digital strategy ideas at JACOBECKEBERGER.COM.

Jacob Eckeberger

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.