Friday, May 4, 2012

I HATE YOUTH PASTORS!


I've seen a trend.

It was a perception I felt as a youth pastor.
It is a reality that seems to be true now as a lead pastor.

Maybe HATE is a strong word.
Maybe MISUNDERSTOOD is more palatable.

At times I see a lack of respect.
A total distaste for youth ministry.

There is an analogy that runs in circles that Pastors are like coaches.
And coaches hire and fire their staff at will.

Assistant coaches are just cogs in a larger machine, replaceable.
Hours are greater than their opinions.
And pay is less than well, its just less than.

Youth pastors are seen as less than...

It works for the NFL but not for the ministry.

Another approach maybe to view Lead Pastors as Principals and
Youth Pastors as Teachers.

Teachers are noble and honorable.
Teachers are essential in developing education.
Teachers are molding the next generation.

Donald D. Quinn, professor at Akron University says, "If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job."

Sounds like youth ministry to me.

I believe the best schools have the best teachers.

I believe that churches would be much healthier
if they treated their youth pastors with the respect they need.
The respect they deserve.

Here are some of the quotes and opinions I've heard first hand in regards to youth ministry,
some are from pastors and some are from church officials.

-"Youth Pastors should be seen and not heard in church board meetings."
-"The Senior Pastor is King."
-"Youth ministry is not a priority at this church, anyone can do it."
-"He was a good youth pastor because he always did what he was told."
-"We are excited to have these youth pastors at our church we got them for a bargain."

Despite the discouraging perspective on youth ministry there is a shift taking place.

One of the best opinions I've heard on youth ministry was not on the internet or in a book, but it was from a pastor of over 25 years experience talking to another pastor; that I had the privilege of listening to their conversation.

"I do not understand my youth pastor, and I am not supposed to...
he speaks a language to a generation that I cannot reach."

Youth Pastors may not be hated,
but they are certainly misunderstood,
and maybe that is a good thing.

"...To reach a generation that I cannot reach."

2 comments:

  1. I was a youth pastor for a year and a half (I got pregnant 1 month after starting so the timing wasn't awesome.) My favorite things my senior pastor said to me were:

    Why is the youth group not growing? You need to get more teens. (I had 5-10 on a weekly basis for a church of 50). I wanted to say the same thing back. Why is the church not growing? You need to get more adults.

    That and "events" are not part of your 40 hour week. So, I'm at the church from 4-11 running a youth event but I don't get to clock those 7 hours. Awesome.

    I think you are totally right about the respect thing. But it is hard to respect that which you do not understand.

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  2. Oh I feel for you. Seriously, I have been there. But honestly the Pastor should have known better typically a youth group will be 10% of the adult congregation so you were doing a great job.

    Are you in ministry today?

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