Parents and Youth Pastors Disagree about the Biggest Challenge in Youth Ministry

Youth Specialties
November 11th, 2016

Between 2013 and 2016, there hasn’t been a whole lot of change in how youth pastors rank the challenges they face.


Here are the biggest changes between the 2013 and 2016 data:

  • “Busyness of Youth” decreased from 86% in 2013 to 74% in 2016.
  • “Lack of Parent Interest” decreased from 41% in 2013 to 34% in 2016.
  • “Breakdown of Families” decreased from 31% in 2013 to 24% in 2016.
  • “Lack of Adult Volunteers” increased from 22% in 2013 to 29% in 2016.

Where parents disagree… 

With “busyness of youth” still topping the list of challenges for youth pastors, it’s fascinating to note that parents involved in this survey didn’t agree. Only 11% of parents say the biggest challenge to their child’s involvement in youth ministry is that they are “way too busy”, and 31% say their child actually “needs more to do.”


There could be some biases at play here, including a parent’s concern about college admissions and the evaluation of their child’s activity level. If that particular bias, it could be assumed that high-income parents (whose children are most likely to attend college) are likelier than others to say their teen “needs more to do.”

Dig into the rest of the data from The State of Youth Ministry report available for the first time at NYWC. But you can pick up your copy—for free—just by registering for NYWC today!

Youth Specialties

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.