I sincerely love Youth Pastors and Youth Workers. I know and have seen first hand the influence that can be made by Youth Pastors…and I am one too of course.
I love that Youth Pastors love teens and families. I love that we long to see a generation make a difference for the sake of the Gospel; that we genuinely believe that this generation can change the world.
I am, as a result, deeply burdened for Youth Pastors and Youth Workers. I pray often for those who work with teens and the battles we fight for those we serve.
With that said, here are five things I desperately hope to see in Youth Pastors:
Clearer focus on the Gospel
The gospel must always remain central to what we do and how we do it. Sadly, it is easier than we would like to admit to lose site of it. Fun can crowd out Jesus, and before long, students are getting a whole lot of fun and a little bit of Jesus.
Students today desperately need to hear and see the gospel. They need to hear of the hope, joy, peace, and relief it brings. They need to experience and to know that they are loved.
Grace upon grace. Not rules upon rules. Most know very well that they fail and mess up. They need no reminder of this. What they need is to know that they are loved. Loved by you and loved by Jesus. A clearer focus of the gospel must drive everything that we do.
Greater Urgency In Ministry
Too often there is a lack of urgency in ministry. There is often a lack of ministry in reaching the lost. There is a lack of urgency in our preaching and teaching. There is lack of urgency in our prayers.
Youth Ministry is a transitional ministry. The students you have now, will be gone before you know it. You must minister, teach, love on, encourage, and share Jesus with great urgency.
Deeper Teaching And Preaching
If students can learn trigonometry in school, they can learn theology in church. Students need to see the depth of and the beauty of God’s Word. Students need to see and understand that it is relevant for their daily lives.
We do our students a disservice when we water down the Word. We do them a disservice when we dance around and avoid the messy and difficult parts.
Students must see the Word for the beauty it is. This can only come through deeper and preaching. Deeper preaching and teaching comes from deeper study and preparation.
Commitment To Stay Put
Ministry is hard. Ministry is exhausting. Ministry is lonely. Ministry is full of people you don’t or won’t like. Ministry though can be great joy.
The truth is, the difficulties you are facing now, the frustrations you have now…they will be at the next church too. Same people too, just different names.
You should stay. You should commit to stay. You are likely overestimating how much you can accomplish in the short term, and underestimating how much you can accomplish over the long haul.
Broader Understanding And Influence
I long to see Youth Pastors be more than the “Youth Guy.” I long to see Youth Pastors be seen as a “real pastor” as well.
This requires some intentionality on the part of a Youth Pastor. It requires the Youth Pastor to step outside of the teens and serve the church in a broader sense.
Increasing your influence in your church and community will do SO MUCH for your ministry.
I really long to see Youth Pastors have a broader understanding and influence.