Three Metrics of Youth Ministry Leadership

by Office of Marketing | Mar 31, 2015
David Hertweck
All I really knew is that I wanted to serve the local church,” Hertweck said. As a Bible college graduate who studied music, he never imagined God would lead him to serve the church first as a youth pastor for 12 years, then as the District Youth and Chi Alpha director for the Assemblies of God New York District, as well as serve on the University of Valley Forge (UVF) Board of Trustees. This month, Hertweck published a book based on his youth ministry background titled "Good Kids, Big Events & Matching T-Shirts: Changing the Conversation on Health in Youth Ministry."

"Good Kids" initiates a new conversation on what healthy and successful youth ministry is and offers practical advice on how to obtain it. “[Good Kids] is about the questions that we ask as youth leaders,” Hertweck said. “I looked back in my time as a youth minister and identified three primary metrics that I used.” The three metrics correspond to the title: good kids, big events and matching t-shirts. The good kids section asks about the kids’ behavior, morality and church attendance. The big events section asks if youth ministries and leaders are providing the right experiences for the kids. The matching t-shirts section asks if the kids like each other and get along.

Hertweck turns these around and develops three new metrics: gospel fluency, Spirit-dependency and biblical community. Gospel fluency asks if the kids fully understand the Gospel and what God did for humanity. Spirit-dependency asks if kids know what it means to be fully dependent on the Holy Spirit in every aspect of life. Biblical community asks what true biblical community looks like in a youth ministry setting. The center of biblical community is not likeability but Jesus Christ. The book is a thought-provoking resource for youth and church leaders. The questions posed will challenge the idea of not only growing youth ministries in size but also in community and spiritual depth. This valuable concept can apply to other ministries within the church as well. "I try to ground the conversation within youth ministry, but people can take the principles and contextualize them into their own ministry setting," Hertweck said. 

Hertweck was the keynote speaker on the March 19 and 20 UVF Breakaway event. Breakaway is a 24-hour UVF experience for high school students. He had the opportunity to connect with students individually and together during the event sessions on Thursday evening and Friday morning. 

As the youth director for the New York District, Hertweck serves all 335 AG churches in the state of New York. He shares his life with the church and youth leaders, providing network opportunities, training and helpful resources. Hertweck explained the vision for the youth ministry in the New York District, which is to help leaders “create and sustain disciple-making environments.” According to the New York District Ministry Center website, “Discipleship is the Spirit-enabled process of moving teenagers from unbelief to belief in the Gospel, in every area of life.” As the Chi Alpha director, Hertweck is focused on launching campus ministries in various colleges and universities throughout New York that are equipped with trained leaders and a healthy replicable model. “What we want to do is build something that will last,” Hertweck said.
"Good Kids, Big Events & Matching T-Shirts" is available at major bookseller stores. To read a chapter of the book for free, visit