• GG-Mom B

    Another great subject !! GG-Mom B

  • http://www.facebook.com/theresa.hassell.jones Theresa Hassell Jones

    AMEN!!!

  • http://mic6-8.blogspot.com/ Benjer

    I am thankful that when I was hired in my first position overseeing a youth ministry right out of college, my boss, the associate, said that I needed to acquire three things if I wanted to accept the position: 1) a car; 2) a cell phone (which they would pay for); and 3) a Christian mentor to meet with on a regular basis. She was a very wise woman. I think I could have lived without the first two, but the third made me a much better youth pastor. This is great advice for any youth pastor, but especially one who might be lacking in maturity.

    I think the best way to handle this is to set guidelines up front about expectations of spiritual and emotional maturity and hold leaders to them. Not legalistic rules, but clear guidelines. In addition, it's great to train on these issues before they come up, and model them yourself.

    Slightly OT: If you're in or around Colorado, the best training I've seen on this is by an adolescent psychologist in south Denver who used to be a youth pastor and is also an adjunct professor at Denver Seminary. He does a session on "Right Roles and Relationships" (regarding youth leaders and teenagers) that I've seen at least five times (he led our denominational YM training days in Colorado), and I always take something new away and it's great for new leaders. If you're interested in his info, send me a note: benjer at washingtonheights dot org.

  • http://RobGillenRightNow.com Rob Gillen

    Great topic Tim! I think this discussion can benefit a rookie youth leader or an "expert in the field." Ultimately, the most challenging and crucial part of this process is simply stepping forward and making the decision to place your teens before your "Fill-In-The-Blank" (ego, pride, fear, insecurity, etc.) because usually the result of these discussions will be (1) Negative Reaction from the Leader removed (2) Need for Dismissal of Leader

    I had to walk through a process like this one nearly two years ago and I followed all of the steps listed above, Prayer and Counsel from your Lead Pastor being the two most important. In the three-months following the choice to remove this leader, I had to deal with rejection from teenagers, other youth leaders and even parents who did not agree with my decision and who gossiped about me and blatantly attacked me before other leaders and parents. The fall-out is most heavy when you do not have longevity behind you yet.

  • http://RobGillenRightNow.com Rob Gillen

    A year later (isn't this always the case in youth ministry) our youth group was stronger, deeper, and more intimately consumed by God than ever before. Three years later it's now a lesson I've learned and history that no one in our church even remembers.

    Your decision to do the right thing and remove that leader (if need be) will be one of the hardest things you ever do in ministry, and it will be the decision that bears the most fruit as well…"No Pain, No Gain."

  • http://twitter.com/GeraldNC @GeraldNC

    Nice post. I was scared I was one of them lol. However, I do see where I, in my early days, had some issues being the adult. When my wife and I first started we both believed the ministry was about being a friend to the kids. Wow, how stupid were we? We immediately undermined the youth director, not intentionally. We also began having sleep overs and such at our home, in all honesty not so much to be good examples, but just so we had people to hang with really.

    When that high school group left, we pretty much stopped helping out with youth. The reason being, in my opinion now, was that we didn't connect with the younger kids that were coming up because we had become friends with the "cool seniors".

    I am now so glad God helped me see the difference and very thankful nothing "wrong" ever came about through those relationships. I am now a responsible leader, and have their best interests in mind, not my own. I want to be their leader spiritually first, and not a friend.

    Another point you could talk about in maybe your next blog could be about the importance, or not, of YP's having real adult connections such as mentors or accountability partners. I've got a mentor, though we've not spelled it out that way, and he is our current YD/AP. It is he who helped me see it was ok to be a man and work with kids. (Yes sadly I thought it was a woman's "job" because our previous YP was a woman and that was all I'd seen). He has helped me grow up a whole lot by seeing his witness, and have discussions with him. However, I do not have anyone for an accountability partner right now cuz I honestly don't have a deep relationship with an adult who could fill that void right now. So I'd love to see thoughts on these topics.

    Thanks, I enjoy your perspective on things! God bless.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/timschmoyer Tim Schmoyer

      Your story is exactly like some of the ones I've seen in my own youth ministries. I'm so glad you and your wife see it now and have matured past it. I hope you can continue to share your story with others and encourage them to do the same.

      Thanks for the topic suggestions. I think mentoring and accountability is something that is desperately needed, hence the mentorship team through LISM here. There will be an exciting post coming up about that sometime soon (actually, as soon as I can carve out some time to update the mentoring part of this site with the details).

  • http://reyouthpastor.wordpress.com/ Seth Browback

    But…how do you deal with "hotties" (18 and older of course) in your youth group? I am writing a book on it. Is it ok for single YP's to date them?

    • http://www.danaschmoyer.com Dana Schmoyer

      Are you asking about adult leaders or students in your ministry?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/timschmoyer Tim Schmoyer

      If the "hottie" is in high school, then no, it's not okay even if she's 18. If they've graduated, then they're no longer in high school and you should proceed with great caution because of your role and position as her former youth pastor.

    • richard daniels

      no it is not ok to date them it is not ok to call them hotties. a mature christian looks at a young girls character not her body look at the bibles idea of the right kind of woman

  • Pingback: Catholic Youth Ministry Blog » Lacking Maturity()

  • krg

    I think I jumped in to a rushed into choosing two more HS leaders to help out HS Pastor. One of them is very new to the faith, and the other is finding the relationship with God. Point is that I lead a discipleship class and one of them seem like they could care less, shows up when it wants to. The other is enthusiastic, but dependent, and both in their private life do not seem there yet. I want to help them be good leaders. I am not the best, I am far from it, but my heart is invested with the students. I want to share the little that I know with them without sounding like I know it all, or want to tell them what to do. Please help!!!

    • http://timschmoyer.com/ Tim Schmoyer

      I don’t bring on any adult leader who I don’t trust as a spiritual and emotional role model for students. Sounds like these “leaders” are not that. Just because you put them in a position of leadership does not mean they are leaders.

      If it were me, I’d dismiss them from their roles in the youth ministry. Teens matter to much to give them leaders that aren’t leading them anywhere.

      • krg

        How could I tell them this. Last conversation I had with them was to work on their faith, learn about God, and have a relationship with The Lord. They both said they do not want a break they want to learn and continue with leadership, but they show something else. I don’t think I have the courage to tell them, or correct words.

        • http://timschmoyer.com/ Tim Schmoyer

          This is where you’ll have to be the leader. If you believe the teenagers are worth something better, you’ll have to prove it. Doing what’s right and what’s easy are rarely the same thing.

          • krg

            I will have to do that. Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate thy very much.

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