Youth Ministry MythBusters

1. Youth pastors don’t work all day.
Yeah, you got me. I just sit in my office playing Xbox, checking Facebook and chucking paper airplanes around the room. lol Whatever. Forget preparing Bible lessons, interviewing and screening new volunteers, planning events, further education and training, dreaming the vision, connecting with kids after school, preparing reports, church meetings and all the miscellaneous stuff.

2. Youth pastors are supposed to fix kids for parents.
Shoot, I missed that in my job description. Dear parent, lemme check your job description in scripture… Yup, that’s your responsibility. Now, how can I help you?

3. Youth ministry isn’t a real career.
It’s good for those who still aren’t sure what they really want to do when they grow up, which is why I don’t ever plan to “grow up” to what the world expects. Sure, it doesn’t pay the salary that a normal job would, but a short 50 year career on earth is nothing compared to an eternity of treasures in heaven.

4. A strong healthy ministry WILL produce numbers!
Healthy ministry never guarantees spiritual growth let alone numerical growth. Spiritual growth is solely a work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. Numerical growth happens in both unhealthy ministries and healthy ones a like. I know many healthy ministries that aren’t growing numerically. Why? I guess because God’s plan for them right now is be diligent in focusing on the few students who are already there. Numerical growth can be an indication of health, but never a decisive one.

5. Students have no desire for God’s Word!
“Studies show that, out of the 66 books of the Bible, teenagers can only say something about the contents of Genesis, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Revelation. They have no desire for God’s Word!” I agree that Biblical literacy is an issue, but you’re making a pretty bold assumption to equate illiteracy to no desire for the Word. Biblical literacy and desire for the Word are two different things. Can not a new believer have a desire for the Word and still be Biblically illiterate? Can not a teenager have a desire to apply Biblical principles to his/her life without knowing the synopsis of every book of the Bible? The opposite is also true. A person can be thoroughly familiar with every book in the Bible and have not desire for growth or personal application. (Hint: Pharisees.)

Got any others to add?

Posted on March 11, 2008

  • GiGi

    Youth Ministers are just teenagers that never grew up.

    Yea right. We have the capacity to be an adult when necessary. It’s just more fun to be this way! 0:)

  • Nick

    Myth: Summer camps should be considered vacation time.

    ‘Nuff said.

  • To remark on the summer camp/vacation one…that has been said repeatedly in my time in youth ministry! We usually have several in a row, along with a few VBS’ or mission trips…usually a week later after some follow-up, I will take my wife on vacation…I get more grief for this than for leaving the lights on in the gym (that’s actually a HUGE deal apparently).

  • Tim,
    You’re right. Biblical illiteracy doesn’t equate to lack of hunger for His Word. More than 2/3rds of the world is functionally illiterate. They can’t pick up the Bible and read it for comprehension. But, people all over the world, including teens here in the U.S., are hungry and need the Word in a format that they can understand. For the world’s oral majority, that format is audio. You and your readers can download a free Audio Drama New Testament at and listen through in 40 days. It only takes 28 minutes a day. The next generation is growing more oral in nature and God’s Word is still for them.

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  • Chris


    I’m not sure where this myth originated, but I see it in so many churches and ministries. Youth pastors are simply seen as adolescent day care providers and 1-800-help-me-I’m-freaking-out operators. But like all of you know, we are so much more. And we also have lives (amazing, I know)!

  • Wait, what’s a life? ;)

    You’re right! Thanks for adding that, Chris.

  • MYTH: Youth Pastor’s timecard says 40 hours then that is all he worked.
    FACT: so much work time is never clocked. (maybe your chuch doesn’t make you fill out a time card, mine does.) Phone calls at 8pm from parents that take 20 minutes, running into a student in the mall and end up getting an orange julius together, casting vision while laying in bed at night, etc. Not to mention we are on call 24/7 if a crisis were to happen with one of our students, or families. I worked 40 hours by thursday morning, yet I worked more on friday and saturday because things just have to be done.

  • I had somebody ask me “What does a youth minister do all week? Don’t you just have to be there Wednesday night?”

    No, it was not a parent. I thought it was funny.

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  • Reminds me of my Top 10 Urband Legends in YM

    Have a few more to add now. Cool!

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  • I've stumbled across some of these videos on youtube. Everytime I find one, I can't help but wonder what made you guys choose Mythbusters to parody? Are you playing off the irony that these videos are made for a church group by youth pastors (I'm presuming) who are portraying Jamie Hyneman, a self-proclamed athiest?

    • Hey Pierat! Did you read the post above? We're just busting myths about youth ministry, that's all. The comparison isn't really intended to go any further than that.

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