Standards and Guidelines 2018
As part of its vision and mission, the ELCA Youth Ministry Network has developed Standards and Guidelines for excellence in children, youth and family ministry.
The spirit that surrounds these Standards and Guidelines is about creating a learning community of youth ministers—a community that seeks to support and network with each other, as we live out our calls in ministry. The Standards and Guidelines will never be complete, nor will anyone master all of them. As a learning community, we will seek to faithfully attend to these realities.
Personal and professional growth is vital to the development of ministry leaders. Growth happens within the framework of personal renewal, continuing education, networking and relational support. The Standards and Guidelines are not intended as a checklist to fully complete; rather they are an essential set of core understandings and competencies for vocational development.
Children, Youth, and Family Ministry professionals are lifelong learners who continually deepen their competency in all areas of ministry throughout their career. It is our expectation that an adult who works with young people and families will demonstrate understanding and growing competency in the following areas:
I. Faith and Spiritual Practice
I. Faith and Spiritual Practices
It is critical that those who work with young people and their families have an understanding of the seven marks of discipleship identified by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
This core competency includes practicing these disciplines themselves, as well as being able to communicate and teach them to others.
In addition, a theological understanding and a commitment to living out the ELCA’s five baptismal “gifts of discipleship” is critical.
Theological thought and reflection necessarily shape an understanding of ministry. Effective children, youth and family ministers are competent in these three areas:
1. Biblical Studies
2. Lutheran belief and doctrine
4. Human development
III. Ministry Skills
Children, youth and family ministry is by its nature interdisciplinary. The professional should work toward competency in these vital areas:
IV. Administrative and Organizational Skills
V. Leadership Skills
At the heart of professional ministry with young people is the ability to gracefully move between theory, theology and praxis. It is critical that all children, youth and family ministers develop and expand upon baseline skills in each of these areas:
The ELCA Youth Ministry Network seeks to be a resource in supporting children, youth and family ministry leaders in their personal and professional growth. The Network strongly suggests the following:
Network Board of Directors: