Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking through what separates “good” youth pastors from a “bad” youth pastors. While that might sound strange, I’ve been praying through how to best lead/train two staff members that are new-ish to youth ministry. What follows is what I think separates a good youth pastor from a bad youth pastor. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but what’s been on my mind, and what I covered with my team.
Good Youth Pastors make disciple makers.
Bad Youth Pastors fail to equip students with a Great Commission mentality.
Does youth ministry need to be fun? Yes. Does youth ministry need to be entertaining? Yes. Does youth ministry need to be about getting as many students as possible to look toward the excellencies of Jesus? Of course!
But youth ministry first and foremost needs to be about disciple making. Not only do we need to make disciples, but we need to make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples. Are your students equipped to share their faith? Would they even know where to start? Good youth pastors empower and equip students to share their faith.
Good Youth Pastors know that ministry is all about relationships.
Bad Youth Pastors too often place tasks and to-do lists above people.
There are a million things that can keep youth pastors busy. There is always a lesson to write or something to clean up. While we should hold ourselves to the highest standard of professionalism in the product and programs that we facilitate, but this should never come at the expense of relationships.
No level of excellence is worth sacrificing relationships. And in the end, your perfect program and message will fail if it’s not supported by a foundation of relationships.
Time for some self-evaluation:
- How much time did you spend behind a computer this week vs. time spent with people?
- How many students did you counsel or disciple this week?
- Name a few students outside your ministry that you are trying to reach.
- How many leaders have you met with to encourage recently?
- How many potential new leaders have you met with recently?
- What keeping you from pursuing relationships?
Also, check back tomorrow for the two more tips! Want to make sure you get the rest of the list? Get on our email list and you will never miss a thing!
David Hanson: Texas native, Texas Tech Red Raider, M.Div. at Truett Seminary, husband to Ashley, father to Ava, Ben & Madelyn, Student Pastor at The Fellowship in Round Rock, Tx, table tennis (ping-pong) extraordinaire, addicted to coffee. For anything else…you’ll just have to ask.