What I learned about ministry in 2007

1. When leaving a youth ministry position, make it quick. At least for my position, a 6 week notice was too long. Four weeks would’ve probably been about right.

2. When starting in my new youth ministry position, I’m glad I spent more time getting to know people than trying to figure out what to do with the youth group. The better I knew the people, the easier that was anyway.

3. I surrounded myself with a core group of “go to” youth workers that I could confide in about ministry issues, struggles, ideas and concerns. Their advice, support and input is always invaluable.

4. Sufficient time off to rest and relax keeps me excited and energized for ministry. Plus, it’s usually during my down time that I accidentally come up with the best ideas for ministry.

5. Reading other ministry blogs keeps me thinking and critically evaluating my ministry. It prevents me from falling into a rut.

6. Building a solid, passionate and well-trained team of youth workers is critical for an effective ministry.

7. I will never implement change blindly or without the support of key people. I’m not a leader if no one else is following.

8. I can never over-appreciate my youth worker team. Without them nothing else would be possible.

9. Serving alongside other youth pastors from other churches in the community has many more unforeseen blessings than I originally thought.

10. I’m glad I enforce a zero tolerance for youth leaders who gossip, even if it’s done with “pure motives.”

11. Without my wife’s amazing support, nothing I am or do in ministry would be possible.

12. Youth workers who buy their youth pastor Guitar Hero III for Christmas TOTALLY ROCK!!! (Thanks, guys!)

Posted on December 27, 2007

  • Ryan


    Could you comment a little on your “zero tolerance” policy with gossip among youth leaders?…This seems to creep in from time to time in my own group.


  • Great list. #6 and #7 if more youth pastors would learn this lesson I think we would see more longevity in youth ministry on average.

    Happy New Year!

  • @ Ryan: Yeah, basically anyone who gossips is off the team. Period. When I first arrived at my new church I was hearing several different people talking negatively about others when they’ve never actually approached the person they had a problem with. So, at my very first youth worker meeting with everyone I opened it up by saying that I will not tolerate gossip and that anyone who does so is off the team (I got permission/support from my sr. pastor to say that beforehand). I told them that nothing erodes unity faster than gossip and that if we’re going to have a unified youth group it must first start with us. If they have a problem with someone else, I don’t want to hear about it until after they’ve already confronted the other person first. If someone has a problem with me, I want them to come straight to me before talking about it with anyone else. Fortunately, we haven’t had a problem since that meeting.

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