The daunting job description of a youth pastor

Lately I’ve felt so overwhelmed with everything a youth pastor needs to do. How in the world can it be possible to fulfill all these things with some level of equal success? I’ve always thought it better to do a few things well than do many things half-way, but there really isn’t anything on my list that can be cut out or eliminated — they’re all important things!

1. Build relationships with students and spend time on their turf.

2. Ensure that volunteers are building relationships with students, too.

3. Train and equip volunteers to be effective in their various rolls.

4. Train parents and provide resources for them to be godly spiritual leaders.

5. Prepare ministry summary reports for church leadership.

6. Prepare students spiritually, emotionally and mentally for life in the “real world” after high school.

7. Plan, organize, and evaluate youth programs and then re-plan, re-organize, and re-evaluate them all over again.

8. Work to earn a voice and respect in the church community.

9. Become an expert on almost all teen issues, including (but not limited to) suicide, cutting, eating disorders, homosexuality, death, divorce, school drop-outs, hazing, incest, depression, pregnancy, rape, smoking, peer-pressure, STDs, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and various other addictions.

10. Become an effective communicator in both speech and writing.

11. Stay up to date on youth culture, trends, and value systems.

12. Develop counseling and listening skills.

13. Cast vision and recruit others to come on board.

14. Keep a current and accurate budget tally.

15. Learn to correctly handle God’s Word.

16. Maintain a healthy personal walk with God.

17. Enjoy down-time for yourself to relax.

18. Make sure your spouse and family comes first before everything else.

Youth pastors gotta work with almost everyone: students, parents, church leadership, and volunteers.

How in the world is it possible to keep all these balls rolling at the same time, plus everything else I didn’t even mention here, with only 40-50 hours per week (or, in my case, 30 hours per week)? Whew.

Posted on October 15, 2006

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