Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Christian Fellowship

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  
News Feeder

Youth Ministry Is Not Just a Stepping Stone

Recommended Posts

youth-pastor-tgc-300x128.jpg

I once interviewed for two ministry positions at the same time—a youth pastor role and a senior pastor role.

I ended up pursuing the youth position, understanding it as the best fit in that season. When I tell people, I get a variety of responses from a simple “Great!” to “Why don’t you want to be a senior pastor?”

Rooted-General-Banner-2015-300x250.jpgA common misunderstanding about youth pastors is that they’re training for the higher-ranking position of lead pastor. While it’s true many pastors once worked with youth, the two roles are distinct. Senior pastors who’ve previously served as youth pastors can provide encouragement and understanding. They can also channel their experience into unrealistic expectations, perhaps beginning with the refrain, “Back when I was a youth pastor . . .”

The implication of such responses is that the youth pastor role isn’t true ministry; only those who have the title of senior or lead pastor hold that distinction.

All Gifts Equally Valuable

Thankfully, God doesn’t distinguish.

In 1 Corinthians 12:12–27 Paul uses parts of the body to illustrate God’s people needing one another. Each person within the body of Christ is valuable and helps the church function. No part is inadequate or indispensable. While Paul may suggest a difference in role for church members, he makes clear that everyone is needed:

God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Cor. 12:24–27)

Youth pastors should be seen as a valuable part of the body. God places us in a unique position to minister to children, young people, and their families. We’re part of the wider church seeking to serve those in a particular demographic, those with particular questions about faith and unique struggles as they move through adolescence into adulthood.

The youth pastor—especially those who are part of a pastoral team—seeks to fulfill his ministry to students through the same lens as the lead pastor. Their goals are largely the same: to serve, to teach the Scriptures, and to present everyone mature in Christ.

Encourage and Champion

First Timothy 3 outlines the qualifications for all pastoral leaders, which includes (I believe) modern youth pastors. When we view and treat the youth pastor role as a mere stepping stone to senior ministry, we do a disservice to the body of Christ in at least four ways.

1. It minimizes the importance of ministry to young people.

Staff members who have a pastoral role work hard at teaching God’s Word and shepherding those under their care. The youth pastor helps families, recognizing that the primary role of spiritual guidance and teaching belongs to parents. In this age of loneliness and confusion, the importance of having another mature adult walk alongside young people can’t be overstated.

2. It pressures youth pastors to look for the next thing.

The youth pastor in your church already puts immense pressure on himself. Adding expectations about moving up the church ladder doesn’t lower the pressure; it leaves him feeling more insecure about his value and place. Encourage your youth pastor by letting him know you deeply appreciate him and his work.

3. It says youth pastors should only be around for a short time.

It’s been estimated that youth pastors stay about 18 months at a given church. I hope this isn’t true, though anecdotal evidence suggests it is. When a youth pastor is asked questions about eventually becoming a senior pastor, he often falls into the trap of accepting short tenures. How great are the ministries of those who have stayed and faithfully taught the Scriptures, who have rejoiced at conversions and baptisms, and who have participated in marriage ceremonies.

Let’s encourage and champion long-term youth ministry.

4. It fails to appreciate individual gifts for ministry.

As I was interviewing for those two positions, I knew youth ministry was my passion and calling. While being a senior pastor is appealing in certain ways, the issue is one of the heart: Am I seeking a name on the door or a title on a business card? Once we’ve dealt with our own pride and popularity-seeking, there’s still the issue of the gifts and desires a sovereign God has chosen to give. This is something I wrestle with, and no doubt other youth pastors do, too.

The next time you speak with a youth pastor, encourage him in his gifting and calling. He is a vital part of the mission, service, and ministry of Christ’s church.

zKFj73UiI0k

View the full article

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Topics

    • Church Accidentally Sells Youth Pastor For $14 At Rummage Sale

      JOPLIN, MO—Well, this is embarrassing. Lakefire Community Church hosts a rummage sale every winter to help clear out some of the junk that's accumulated over the years, like old VBS decorations, worn-out pews, and unpopular Christian doctrines. The post Church Accidentally Sells Youth Pastor For $14 At Rummage Sale appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article

      in Christian Satire

    • 500-Year-Old Socialist Key To Youth Vote In 2020

      U.S.—The youth vote is seen as key to a Democratic victory in 2020, but so far most of the announced candidates have not excited young people. That’s changed now that the extremely ancient socialist Bernie Sanders has slowly shuffled into the race. The post 500-Year-Old Socialist Key To Youth Vote In 2020 appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article

      in Christian Satire

    • Youth Pastor Declares National Emergency As Church Runs Out Of Mountain Dew

      BREMERTON, WA—Local youth pastor Brian "Buffalo" Herrera officially declared a national emergency Monday after discovering the kitchen at Lakeside Community Church had completely run out of Mountain Dew. The post Youth Pastor Declares National Emergency As Church Runs Out Of Mountain Dew appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article

      in Christian Satire

    • Media Hypes Roger Stone ‘Revelation’ That Has Been Public For A Year

      By Chuck Ross - A court filing in the special counsel’s case against Roger Stone was widely interpreted in the mainstream press as explosive new evidence of the Trump confidant’s contacts with WikiLeaks and Russian operatives Prosecutors said Friday that search warrants used in the special counsel’s investigation revealed communications that Stone had with WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0. Various news outlets seized on the filing as new evidence in the collusion probe But Stone’s contacts wit

      in Political Conservative News

    • Ray Ortlund on Finishing Well in Ministry

      “If you and your ministry consist only of doctrinal correctness and brilliant communication and organizational savvy—all of which matter—but if that’s all you cultivate and develop and lay hold of, it will hollow you out.” — Ray Ortlund Date: October 17, 2018 Event:  2018 TGC West Coast Conference You can listen to this episode of The Gospel Coalition podcast or watch a video of the talk. Recommended in this podcast: “The Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way” by Francis Schaeffer in No Little Peo

      in Christian Current Events

×
×
  • Create New...