Online Youth Ministry Course

Growing Spiritual Grit in Teenagers

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Create a youth ministry that helps teenagers develop a stronger connection to Jesus and grow their “core spiritual strength.”

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$198 value
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Course Overview

Now more than ever, teenagers are in desperate need of strength and perseverance—especially as they try to follow Jesus in a culture that is rapidly moving away from Jesus. This training will help you create a ministry environment that naturally grows spiritual grit in teenagers. You’ll learn how to help kids tap into the “core strength” of Jesus with practical “grit-growing” strategies and ideas.

Course Outline

Getting Started

Discover how to navigate your online course, get connected to our ministry network, and download a copy of the Course Notes.


Meet Rick Lawrence, Group’s youth ministry champion for over 30 years. He’ll show you how to create a ministry environment that naturally grows grit in teenagers. And you’ll also learn many grit-growing strategies that will help teenagers (and you!) tap into the “core strength” of Jesus as they face challenges and seize opportunities.

Module 1. The Foundations of Spiritual Grit

In a culture that’s working overtime to make life easier for its kids, the unintended consequence is a generation of young people who lack the strength they desperately need to persevere in life and in their faith. Learn about groundbreaking research into the two factors that grow spiritual grit in young people, and how a deepening relationship with Jesus fuels both.

Module 2. Helping Students Find Their “Passion for Something Higher”

We can’t “should” teenagers into an all-in desire to follow Jesus—desire grows organically. But there’s a lot we can do as youth workers to plant that desire in students so they become “gourmet fanatics” about Jesus. Learn practical ways to help your teenagers find “a passion for something higher than themselves” in Jesus—the key to developing perseverance and strength in their faith.

Module 3. Creating a Ministry Environment That Naturally Produces Gritty Kids

Jesus found creative ways to grow spiritual grit in every single person he met. We can learn from what he modeled and create a ministry environment that mirrors his grit-growing strategies. Here’s how to infuse your ministry with healthy risk-taking—the kind that produces maturity and perseverance.

Module 4. Challenging Your Teenagers to Do Hard Things

Learn and experience five ways you can “Lead the Hard Way” in your ministry, helping your teenagers develop grit by leaning into hard things. Our students grow like crazy when we pump the brakes on what we do for them and expect them to do more instead.

Module 5. Growing a Gritty Ministry

Spiritual grit is not about the strength we already have—it’s about the strength Jesus already has. The strength your teenagers need is the strength Jesus has. This course concludes with a prayer experience that will help you access the strength you need...

Course Outcomes

U Discover

Ways to build endurance, character, confidence, and hope in teenagers.

How risk-taking in youth ministry fuels long-term spiritual impact.

Innovative ways to create a ministry environment that leads teenagers into a deep attachment to their true source of strength.

U Will

Create a youth ministry that helps teenagers develop a stronger connection to Jesus and grow their “core spiritual strength.”

About the Instructor

Rick Lawrence

Rick Lawrence is an author, ministry leader, and longtime executive editor of Group’s Simply Youth Ministry resources. He’s led the Simply Youth Ministry Conference and co-creates the 50-city Simply Youth Ministry Local Training tour. He’s the general editor of the best-selling Jesus-Centered Bible and is the author, co-author, or editor of 38 books.

Group U Ministry Certification

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