There are tons of reasons to be a Youth Pastor. There are also, hundreds of things to love about Youth Ministry.
As I meet and talk with Youth Pastors or those wanting to go into Youth Ministry I often find that many are pursuing Youth Ministry for the wrong reasons. So, inspired by such conversations, here are ten reasons NOT to be a Youth Pastor:
1. You REALLY like dodgeball
Don’t we all. However, at the end of the day, Youth Ministry is really not really about the games we play.
Sure there are moments of fun, and there is a need for these games at times. If however, you are depending on the fun and games to keep you in ministry, you will be sadly mistaken.
2. You think it will be EASY
We only wish it would be easy. Everyday brings its own challenges. Rarely is Youth Ministry what it seems.
If we really knew what this would be like, none of us would have agreed to this. Don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful. It is rewarding. There are so many moments of joy. They do not however come without their moments of heartbreak, burden, and pain.
3. You want to be a “Real Pastor” someday
Youth Ministry isn’t a stepping stone to the BIG job. Sure some who serve in Youth Ministry will be called later to the role of Senior Pastor/Lead Pastor. That doesn’t however make Youth Ministry the intern position for a “REAL Pastor.”
If you are a Youth Pastor…you are a REAL Pastor. Don’t let any little old lady tell you anything otherwise after you preach or teach in “big church.”
4. You think parents are idiots and you can do better
If this is you, wait until you’re a parent, then you’ll change your mind. Parents are trying to do their best. There is no manual given when you take your child home from the hospital.
Every parent is making it up as they go (just like you are with your Youth Ministry most likely) hoping they don’t screw their kid up. Come alongside, partner, encourage, and pray for the parents in our ministry.
5. You just want to hang out with teens all the time
Can you say creeper? Make friends you own age…please.
6. You want access to a lot of babysitters
Okay, this one I kinda get. Good babysitters are hard to find. Date nights are few and far between in ministry.
However, students in your house without you….hmmm…probably not as appealing as it first sounds. There is nothing wrong with youth babysitting. It’s just a terrible reason to decide to be a Youth Pastor.
7. You love lock-ins
Wow…really? I don’t believe you.
8. You don’t think you will do anything all day at work
Yeah, your students don’t either. If only this were true.
Hey, by the way, what DO you do all day?
9. You are young and can relate better
When you are young you relate differently. Different is not always better. Different gets a lot of Youth Pastors in a lot of trouble.
Again here, there is nothing wrong with being young and being a Youth Pastor. Surround yourself with older adults who love teens. Glean from their life experiences of walking with Jesus.
10. You think you’re cool
You may be, but it won’t last forever (well, okay, the middle schoolers will always think you’re cool). Teens DO NOT need another cool friend. They need a pastor.
Newsflash: you’re probably not as cool as you think anyway.
Just steer teens toward Jesus. He is pretty cool.