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Youth pastor as an unbiblical position

I’m getting pretty tired of reading blogs and articles that condemn the youth pastor position as not being a credible Biblical church role. I understand all their arguments why youth pastors shouldn’t be called “pastors” and why it’s not a God-inspired position and blah blah blah, but can I be as arrogant to say that I disagree? It really comes down to an issue of hermeneutics, I guess, so it’s kinda pointless to continue arguing when both parties come from different principles for interpreting scripture. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter what they think since I know the Lord’s calling on my life and that I am obediently following Him to the best of my ability. No one can deter me from that. As members of the body of Christ, though, I have the freedom to say they’re wrong but still enjoy fellowship with them if the opportunity arises — let’s just agree to disagree and talk about something that doesn’t directly attack my passion in life and my position in it.

As far as I understand scripture, when it describes the roles of pastors and the church, there are some very specific instructions for what’s expected. These are absolutes that are unquestionable. However, the model of the early church I do not think is a prescription that mandates we imitate the exact same thing today — rather, it’s a description of what they did in their day that encourages us to be creative in meeting the needs of our day. Paul was a church planter and moved to a new church every three years or so. Does that mean that pastors today must not stay in one place longer than three years? No. I am a youth pastor and am clearly created to serve teenagers. Does that mean everyone must serve teenagers the way I do? No. The question really comes down to whether one believes the New Testament examples are prescriptions for ministry today or only descriptions of what they did that give principles for us today. My position is the latter. Two-thousand years have passed since the early church and the game is still the same, but the playing field is completely different.

That’s my deal and I’m not gonna bother arguing it any more. It really doesn’t make a difference to me if you call me “pastor” or “director” or “coordinator” or whatever fits your theological position. In my mind, function is much more important than title. Just let me follow the Lord’s calling on my life and please don’t discourage others who are doing the same.


Posted on December 16, 2005

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  • http://littlepastor.blogspot.com LittlePastor

    I agree with you basic position. Have you ever thought that all secondary Pastoral positions really just fulfill the ministry of Helps. Worship, Youth, Children, SeniorCitizens, and Mission Pastors really all just further the Senior Pastors vision for that specific congregation. I like to think that I work in the Helps Ministry, I support and Help my Pastors Vision.

  • http://youthministrytv.com Dennis

    Nice little rant on this topic.

  • http://www.jasonhughlett.typepad.com Jason_73

    yeah, people are actually making an issue about this heh? The idea of pastor or leader is someone helping out someone else.. thats what I always say.. Call me what you want, as long as the Father calls me his child let them squabble over these meaningless arguments.

  • http://blog.likeafire.net paul

    I think this whole idea is tired and irrelevant. I have heard it for years now about how youth ministry is unbiblical. It’s just as unbiblical as pot luck dinners. It’s not super explicit in the bible, but it is implicit in detail. None of which matters if it is bringing people to God.

    Most of the people I have heard on this are the very people who need youth ministry the most and rely on it the least.

    • guest

      there seems to be more wanting the bible to submit to them than the other way around.
      youth pastors are not bibical.
      look for yourself today churches make women and men youth pastors going against scripture.

  • http://openswitch.org Ben

    AMEN! I’m a student minister and positively resent someone condemning my position as “unbiblical.” How can they tell me that the call upon my life isn’t real? Good post. I’ll link to it on my blog.

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  • Dad

    Well put, Tim! ‘Pastor’ (shepherd) refers to a person’s heart to God’s sheep. Surely teens, as well as children (Children’s Pastor), etc., need shepherds. Flocks had more than one shepherd, and so does God’s flock! Love, Dad

  • Meagan

    Interesting. I’ve never heard anyone refer to youth ministry as unbiblical. I’m often referred to as “insane” for wanting to do it, but not unbiblical. I’m gonna go ahead and say that it’s so silly an argument, it’s not even worth my rebuttal.

  • http://www.thechurchthing.blogspot.com/ flexnfx

    Tim -

    I couldn’t agree with you more on this! You’re impacting lives and pointing to the Cross. There is no greater call or sacrifice.

    If Christians were honest with themselves and examined the modern church as a whole, I think that they would find a whole lot of things that we do as “unbiblical”. Does God really call us to invest money into sound systems and large auditoriums? Does he want us to go out after Sunday service and be glutinous at the local McDonalds all in the name of fellowship?

    I have definitely been praying for you…it sounds like you are definitley under some attack (per your last few blogs). Hang in there! I’ve been there myself.:neutral:

    • beth

      Just wondering, are most “youth pastors” on the pay roll?

  • http://www.millinersdream.blogspot.com Hannah

    Found you via Ben’s Open Switch blog.

    Personally, as a now 44 year old woman, looking back our Youth Pastor had as big–or bigger–an impact on my life as our Senior Pastor.

    A few years ago our church I politely complained at a church quarterly meeting about our Youth Pastor. Oh, NOT about him or his work. his was that our Pastor and membership continued to call him the “Youth Man.” I said that a.) he was a Youth Pastor and b.) his name should be on our church sign. Until then it had read with our Youth Pastor and Pastor Emeritus’ names.

    Everyone agreed. Someone had to mention it. I did.

    Youth pastors are critical in the lives of our youth. They were to me, and to my (now) manboys.

    Hh

  • http://www.studentministry.org Tim

    Just wanted to thank all you guys for your input and encouragement. You all rock! :grin:

  • april

    yeah – never heard that argument before, but i agree with you – also, hope things have been better lately for you and that you had a good weekend!

  • Sarah

    Considering i spent alot of my youth time (6-8th grade) without a youth pastor i completly disagree with people who say your position is not a important one you keep the teenagers of the church(and others like me who belong to a differnt church) keep it all together and i think youth pastors are vital to the raising of good christian men and women. Change is good and the ultra conservative church people need to get over it and accept change as a good thing. At my church there is no youth group no youth pastor and the teenagers that hang out together at the church are exclusive leaving many out. At youth group it is part of ur job to make sure everyone feels included and ur doing a great job:eek:

  • jose

    this is the reason why the MODERN CHURCH is so improductive.
    Most of you talked about “my calling”…if your calling IS NOT IN THE BIBLE then that calling doesn’t exist…
    God will be where his Word IS
    The Bible is not only for the “early” church.
    Youth Pastor position is not biblical. It’s not an “hermeneutical” problem or “interpretation” problem….IT’S A BASIC OBEDIENCE PROBLEM.
    You can’t obey something if it’s not in THE BIBLE…don’t be so CREATIVE…..we have a creator.
    Yes a youth pastor must be named a coordinator or something.
    ACCORDING THE BIBLE FATHER AND SON MUST BE TOGETHER AT THE CONGREGATION…look Paul talking to both in his letters…..they were never apart……

  • Henry

    Uhmm just wanted to point out that there is no place in the bible where there is a list of qualifications for a pastor. Much less a job description…

  • http://www.studentministry.org Tim

    Henry, I’d use passages such as 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1; James 5:14-26; 2 Timothy 2:14-26 and others as discussing the roles and qualifications of those in church leadership.

  • Henry

    Well Tim, there is still not specific requirements of ‘pastor’ listed.

    I know many call these books the pastoral epistles, I think they are wrong. If in fact someone can show me where some was called ‘pastor’ in the NT fine. But other wise, this pastor bit is simply something we came up with on our own.

  • http://www.studentministry.org Tim

    As I discussed earlier, whatever title you want to give to the different positions in church leadership is irrelevant to me. Whether you call them pastors (in scripture as “shepherds”), elders, overseers, deacons, bishops, or even youth director, it doesn’t matter. Function is more important than how you label it. Whatever title given to those leading the flock, these are the qualifications they must meet.

    Church leaders are identified as shepherds over the flock in Acts 20:28 and several other places.

  • Henry

    I don’t call them anything, titles are not biblical.

  • http://fess2.blogspot.com Gman

    Good ole “Unbiblical” actually youth pastor is probably more of a extra-biblical term than unbiblical. Afterall most churches had a plurity of elders(pastors) and probably most of those pastors worked as a team (We don’t see in scripture Head Pastors or CEO pastors BTW) and with it being a youth pastor or any pastor the qualifications in Timothy and Titus are a good recommendation – what I can’t get is why most people call it an unbibical position or rather having guys only lead it when if they want to return to Biblical times …(Give up those computers boys) .. it was the older women teaching the younger women and children. BTW if I’m not mistaken most young men were considered young children until they left their home and got established. Anyways .. just a few thoughts.

  • Henry

    “We don’t see in scripture Head Pastors or CEO pastors BTW”

    That is right we don’t and we don’t see pastors as well. That is becuase there is no such thing in the bible, not the modern day pastor anyways.

    Unbiblical is the right term.

    Contrary even better.

    Wrong perfect.

  • http://www.lansharx.com Clint

    Henry, feel free to shoot me an email.

  • Clint

    Yeah, I have read some of that too. The funny thing is……..where can you find a PAID church staff position in the bible? As a matter of fact Paul in one of his letters, used the argument for credibility that he WAS NOT paid and fully supported himself. God bless,

    clint@lansharx.com

  • henry

    You are right there is no paid church office in the bible, for that matter there is no church office. It is a misinterpretation by the Institutional church.

    Now there is certainly nothing wrong with helping out some one doing the work of the church (which is not teaching a sunday school class) but giving him a salary and making him an employee of the church, big no no.

  • http://www.lansharx.com Clint

    Thanks for the reply Henry. Although that wasn’t my point, I understand where you are coming from. My family has been in a house church here for more than 7 years now. Many of us live in the same neighborhood, and we are in and out of eachother lives daily: Sharing in the suffering and triumphs of life. Living in a similar way the first century church did. And it is such a wonderful blessing!!!!

    However, I do believe that God can and currently moves through the “institutional” church. He is seeking those who want him. And they can come from so many different places! I am a former veteran of vocation of student ministry and I still think that the Lord is doing wonderful works in these “flawed” churches. As a matter of fact, our church is incredibly flawed. Thank you Jesus for your cleansing blood!

    Right now I own a Video gaming center here in Waco, Texas and we love each kid that comes in. I do know that the Lord will lead me back to some kind of vocation in ministry. And I also know that our church will send our family out in the name of the Lord. Some might not agree with what I will be doing, but will love us nevertheless.

    The Church is a wonderfully diverse, dynamic place. May it always be that way!!!

    In His abounding mercy,

    Clint McPhee

  • henry

    God used babylone too and we see what became of them.

  • henry

    Vocational ministry, if that means you are going to be clergy of any sort NO God is not leading you to that.

    Man, it is so tiresome hearing people say “God lead me to…” something which is not even biblcal.

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  • http://fess2.blogspot.com Gman

    Though it is interesting that not everyone is to presume to be teachers because they are to be judged more strict. (James 3:1) That the idea of a pastor/elder is that of desiring the office (I Timothy 3:1) that there were those that were called to be in certain gifts (See 1 Cor. 12: 27-31). And of course there is the Titus passage of Titus 2:3 as the older women teaching the younger and children for that of being youthworker of youth minister. As to the youth pastor or elder .. the idea of the “youth” office isn’t there but plurality of elders(pastors) over each church is. (Not a CEO)

    There is also that of the double honor (1 Timothy 5:17-18) . Now we can look at the term pastor (which listed in the 1 Cor12 as a giftedness some called pastors), and then we also can look at the term “Elder/Bishop” which some use interchangeable with pastor today as in overseeing the flock or Overseer. The idea of a the Greek term
    “episkope” and “eposkopoa” which both appear in the Timothy passage is that of overseer, bishop.

    Now should an overseer or elder or bishop help overseer the youth? Yup. Should it help in the Church? Yup. Should a separate position or a person be paid to do it? That depends on the congregation and its’ leadership. The sad thing is we call Unbiblical which is just extrabiblical. Sometimes it is a matter of reaching our culture to adapt but also be of the world, not in it.

    I’d be glad to debate more if you wish. I’d rather a good discussion than some “attacks.” Maybe it is looking at those passages I’d look listed rather than saying it is just unbiblical.

  • Clint

    Well put Gman.

  • john
  • henry

    The problem here is that you are all speaking in terms of the Institutional church as if it where biblical to have such and organization and call it the church.

    Well it is not, so anything after is certainly also not biblcal

    The main reason that having youth or any other kind of professional pastorate is unbiblical is because the very environement they are in is not biblical.

    Basically you are trying to mape grape juice from oranges when attempting to justify modern church practices with the NT.

  • http://fess2.blogspot.com Gman

    So Henry – instead of spouting out this comes from the institutionalized church (Which I understand …I’m not for the institutionalized church but THE Church, my favourite book btw is Escape from Church Inc. And Brothers, We are not Professionals) so instead of giving analogies how about addressing the scriptures I gave? Or are you anti-biblical as well?

  • henry

    Spouting out?

    Anti-Biblibcal?

    I merely said that the problem in trying to understand ANY scpriture is the context it is being interpreted in. And too often verses like the ones you posted are interpreted from an IC view point and with in the context if the IC structure.

    Context has been change by which we understand them. As long as people read IC into the scripture that is what they will get out of it.

    If you wish to talk with me, show more respect then what you have. Do not insult me or accuse me again, and certainly do not think yourself a teacher.

  • Clint

    “Do not insult me or accuse me again…” By whos authority? I think you know about what a christian should do when he is insulted.

    How do unbelievers know that we are Christians?

    Dude, if I wasn’t a Christian, I surely wouldn’t want what you have.

    Good luck trying to follow your list of rules.

  • http://fess2.blogspot.com Gman

    Henry:

    You misunderstand me. I quote scripture and like to see how you see them in their context. I ask questions and you respond kind of arrogantly if I misread I apologize. I gave you a reference point for the position and how it fits. You used terms “the problem is you are speaking” “God is not leading you to …” You can see how that can be insulting as well. As to being a teacher, well do you know me or I you? Let’s be civil here. Let’s look at the scriptures in their context. I’ve asked that several times. I gave support for bishop, overseers, and how leadership works … all it seems you are doing is coming from your opinion … so let’s look beyond just opinion but how the Bible supports your view?
    That was the reason for my last post. BTW I’m not necessary coming from an Institutionalized Church background …. intereting enough I’m more of a Campbellite …so what’s your background. Let’s look @ the Timothy, Titus, 1 Corinthians passage. I agree that the idea of pastors seems to be more of a giftedness but also the term of elder/bishop has changed as language does. The English language and word usage has changed to fit that. Take words such as passion (which use to have a bad term and now used for good or gay which used to be good but now bad …)

    Thoughts?

  • http://fess2.blogspot.com Gman

    And in relooking at the last couple of posts I apologize for insulting you Henry. I’ll try to attack the issue not you as a person.

  • Clint

    Here Here! I too should have not attacked you Henry. You have my deepest apologies. I do appreciate your words and I totally understand where you are coming from. (I really do)

    Gman, I too, come from a Campbell-Stone background. (mainstream non-instrumental church of Christ) I was wondering the same thing about you Henry.

    Where is everyone from?

  • henry

    This is what I get for speaking my opinion

    “spouting out this comes from the institutionalized church”
    “Or are you anti-biblical as well?”
    “How do unbelievers know that we are Christians?”
    “you respond kind of arrogantly”

    Thanks guys, this is the very reason I avoid church people. Can not disagree with out being called names, being accused of not believing the bible, not being a christian and finally arrogent.

    BTW I was a pastor and chaplain for several years, I am also trained and seminary educated. I am not just blowing smoke here.

    This only makes me feel better about my choice to walk away from the church, to many people being right to listen to anyone who actually is.

  • John

    TALK ABOUT YOUR ARROGANT!!!!! He is blinded by his own!

    BTW buddy, who cares about the seminary education. I can’t believe that you would give that any weight at all in light of your stance! Every one of those are “INSTITUTIONAL.”

    You are to be pitied. You can’t even see that these guys were remorseful and wanting to continue dialog.

    Judge NOT or you will be judged!

    Forgive and you will be forgiven!!!

    But those must be unbiblical since you don’t practice them!

  • http://fess2.blogspot.com Gman

    BTW I am a pastor. Have been a chaplain. Seminary educated. And well didn’t see anyone say you were unbiblical but questioned it, and nobody ever ACCUSED you of not being a Christian. So let’s deal with the issue at hand. The verses I gave ..context?? How do you support that youth pastor is unbiblical?

    I feel SAD you walked away. I think sometimes it is easier to email and post rather than face to face it might help the situation or clarify it. Thanks your Brother, Gman (My email is fess2@juno.com if you want or can further dialogue here)

  • henry

    What is there to be sad about, leaving the institution is the best thing I have ever done for my spiritual walk. For far too long, I believed that was the ‘church’ and it is not.

    Curently I am purging all the Institutional teachings from my mind, coming to terms with the fact that if one thing was in error then everything is in error. Once I have done that, then I can truely come to the scriptures with a clear and clean mind.

    This is what I am trying to say with must resistance and quite a bit of insults, is that we read into the bible what we are taught. That is just a fact of being human.

    Another proof of this is the fast attack of my character by people here like John, because he does not like what I said.

    I made a statement about HUMANS and the way we tend to act, and I was met with very personal attacks, insults and insinuations against my faith.

    So let me say this one last time, I am saying that we all have a tendency to read into ANYTHING what we have learned, experienced or believe to be true.

    For example for those who are convinced that we are suposed to be baptized as part of our salvation process, reading Jesus words “Be born of the water” means to be baptized, even though Jesus did not say that, nor does the context of that passage allow for such an interpretation.

    One more example I have used already, when we read “forsake not the gathering together…” many imagine the verse is talking about a religous meeting, a church service. But it could very well be talking about a dinner or a walk by the river as well. We forget that when the writer wrote that verse there was no such thing as our “church services”. So then how can he possibly have been talking about such a thing?

    We read into the bible what we have been taught to, and such is the case with church pastors of any kind. We think of a pastor as someone in authority who is commissioned to be the spiritual leader of a certain group, when infact that pastoral role is none existant in the scripture. But we read it into the scriptures because it is what we are taught and have come to believe. Not realizing that that church leader of the NT and the ones of today bear no resemblance to one another.

  • Kathy

    I stumbled on to this blog and am aboslutely stunned at what I am reading. I think everyone of you need to step back form this subject and take a deep breath and regroup. You have all been so busy defending yourselves you have forgotten your intial point of discussion. I am a Christian and I am not going to enter into debate on this particular topic. I will point out to you that although I believe that discussion over scripture can be beneficial and is necessary for us to gain a better understanding of what and how the Lord would want us to live, I don’t think this particular issue is one that will keep anyone who has confessed and accepted the Lord through his Son for salvation, entrance to Heaven. And had I stumbled onto this as a NON believer- I certainly would not even desire to know what Christianity is all about if this is the way Christians behave. The blogs can be interesting but shouldn’t we all be taking the time we are spending on this computer and actually interacting with humans personally and SHOWING them the way to salvation instead of quibbling over non important issues such as this?
    This is my very first reply to a blog ever and now I know why I avoid them. Talking in person over a matter is much better than hiding behind a screen where someone can take your words (without your facial expressions and tone of voice) and totally misread your intentions. Please be careful guys- YOUTH are reading these things- give them food for thought and things that will stir their thoughts toward eternal salvation, don’t teach them to get caught up in debate over “views” of inconsequntial matters. The “CHURCH” does that enought on their own.

  • Gman

    Thanks Kathy for the reminder. Good thoughts.

  • henry

    Kathy

    “I don’t think this particular issue is one that will keep anyone who has confessed and accepted the Lord through his Son for salvation, entrance to Heaven.”

    This is irrelevant.

    “SHOWING them the way to salvation
    instead of quibbling over non important issues such as this”

    Which way? The Catholic way, the protestant way, the mormon way, the baptist way, the pentecostal way, the oneness way, and on and on 30,000 times over?

    And who are you to say this is or is not important? I do think that it is very important to understand how men have misused and abused the words of God to their own wills and desires.

    “Please be careful guys- YOUTH are reading these things- give them food for thought and things that will stir their thoughts toward eternal salvation, don’t teach them to get caught up in debate over “views” of inconsequntial matters.”

    Again whos salvation are you talking about, which of the 30,00 plus denominations are you refering to. And yes each one is just a bit different in the way they say we are saved, or even if we stay saved…you must know there are many groups such as the AOG who say that we can be saved and lost again.

    So which way do we stir them, toward what mans ideals do we send them?

    Perhaps Christiant-Unitariantism, huh? That one says everyone is saved no matter what religon they practice. Should we send them that way?

    When you are talking about God nothing is simple and clear cut, and you should know that what you say is not important may in fact be the entire world to another man/woman.

    “The “CHURCH” does that enought on their own.”

    I assume you are talking about the Institutions of men, for men and by men. And in this I agree, and I would never NEVER stir anyone to this mess we call church.

    May be the Christian-Unitarians got it right after all, and we are just a buch of finger waving jerks thinking we are right above everyone else all 300,000 groups of us.

  • Kathy

    Henry-
    I am sorry you are angry at the church and Christians. I am not sure what point you are really trying to prove but I already stated i will not enter into debate over this with you. Obviously something or someone has hurt you in some way and all you seem to want to do is chastize anyone who differs in opinion with you or dares to speak truth in response to your bitter and angry responses. I will not respond to further comments on this topic.
    I hope that someday you will refind the love that Christ has for you and who is willing and waiting with open arms to welcome you back to. In the mean time, I plan to live my life with joy and the freedom of knowing that i am redeemed and living out the plans and purposes god has for me.
    Blessings of peace to you,
    Kathy

  • henry

    “I am sorry you are angry at the church and Christians.”

    Oh brother…

    I remember when I was in the Oneness pentecostal church, I realized the doctrine was in error and asked a pastor about it, they said I had the devil in me to even think of questioning the bible. Not them, mind you THE BIBLE…oh yes, they too where utterly convinced that they where speaking from the bible just as people in here are.

    When I finally left the Oneness church, several well meaning brothers tried to bring me back to the faith (as they saw it, I was simply attending a different church, but a trinitarian one, so for them it was as good as nothing) they would always ask me why I would leave THE church, and when I said it was theological the reply was “Obviously something or someone has hurt you in some way and all you seem to want to do is chastize anyone who differs in opinion with you or dares to speak truth in response to your bitter and angry responses.”

    At least something very simular to that.

    It has come to be quite clear to me that religon builds in a self defence system that says when ever someone leaves, it is becuase of hurt and bitterness NEVER becuase of theology. After all every church thinks they have the right theology and God is on their side, so certainly theology can not be the problem.

    This is one of the reasons I dont care for the pastorate, they are the ones teaching this to people. But I can not totally blame them, after all it is what they where taught too. I know it is what they where teaching us in seminary.

    LOL actually in University now, I am in a class that is suposed to be a Philo class but really it is a class on evangelism. Basically you learn enough about another faith to use it to ‘witness’ to them. I was asked what I thought about the class and I said honestly “I think it is irrelevant to my degree study (pyschology) and intellectually dishonest to call it philosophy when it is really an evanglism class.

    The instructor who was a pastor responded by quoting verses to me from the bible, and telling me what my biblical responcibility it and geuss what, that I must be bitter or hurt not to be living up to what HE says the bible tells ME to do.

    Give me a break…

    “or dares to speak truth”

    I find this to be a very arrogent statement, so far there has been not ‘truth’ in this forum, only opinions and Christians do not realize how arrogent we all come off when we think that we are right and everyone else is wrong. Even though we our selves can not seem to agree on anyone single things, hence 30,000 denominations.

    Again this is one of those auto-defence things that pop up when challenged. I know I have them too, but I am working hard to tear them all down and purge them from my mind.

    “I hope that someday you will refind the love that Christ has for you and who is willing and waiting with open arms to welcome you back to.”

    As I said before, my very faith has been question simply because I do not agree with standard institutional Christianity. And here again it happens, I do not need to be re found, I was never lost.

    This is another example of the auto-defence system, very much the same as the hurt and bitter one. The oneness people said the same thing, of course they say in the mean time I am going to hell.

    No, Jesus is right here all the while…my problem with the institutional church system has nothing to do with Jesus. But then again the IC has nothing to do with Jesus.

    Never the less, who are you to judge my heart anyways? You don’t like what I say and that give you lisence to say I am not saved? Or how ever you want to put it.

    “I plan to live my life with joy and the freedom of knowing that i am redeemed”

    Good for you, no ever said not to.

    “Blessings of peace to you”

    LOL that is very nice of you to say but totally not sincere. No need to play religon with me, I know better. There is no way you can say the things you did to me and then say blessing to me.

    Oh yes the church has hurt me, and I hate the institution. But it does not change the fact the cold hard truth that “IT” the institution is not the church and it is far far from being biblical.

    Jesus has left the building folks.

  • Tim

    Hey,
    I’m just wondering if you know an exact passage that refers to a Youth Pastor. By the way, I totally agree that a Youth Pastor is needed in churches today.
    -Tim

  • http://sakeoftruth.blogspot.com/ Josh

    Skimming through the comments here, it is easy to notice that this is a tender issue to some. Carefully choose your hills to die on :).

    I make one main suggestion: Let us always submit our preferences to Scripture. It appears to me that some are defending what they prefer to be true without appropriate biblical support. I would also warn against giving more significance to a subjective ‘call’ or ‘feeling’ than is promoted by Scripture (I don’t find a biblical mandate to ‘have a peace’ and ‘be called’ before making any decision or doing anything related to ministry). God’s will is clearly revealed in Scripture, so we must not go about expecting special revelation in the form of a dream or ‘feeling of peace’. That sounds like Mormon evangelism!

    My two cents (things to keep in mind):
    (1) You’ll never find the term ‘youth pastor’ in Scripture (keep in mind I AM ONE). Interestingly you do not find the term ‘missionary’ either. Obviously this is not support to condemn the position!
    (2) Biblically speaking, the family is the God-created institution whereby children are to be taught the Word of God (see: Deut. 6:4-9 among others; also see Eph. 6:1 and other passage instructing obedience of parents [clearly implying teaching]).
    (3) Youth ministries do have the potential to promote a ‘play’ mentality and segregate teens from ‘adult’ or ‘mature’ status. We must curb against this.

    In brief, I think a youth ministry needs to equip parents to minister to their children, teach youth solid biblical truth (and teach them how to properly interpret Scripture), demonstrate to them how they are to apply Scripture in THEIR context (not in a 1952 church culture). MOST OF ALL, we must keep in mind that WE (youth pastors) are primarily coming alongside parents.

    Thoughts?

  • gacase

    Eh, yea the very first time I went on a youth trip, the Seniors were trying to get the new memebers swirlies. The problem is not that Youth Ministers are unbiblical, it is that the qualifications for most are unbiblically supported. Ministers are not to be young in their discipleship and are to be stewards over the flock. They are not entertainers.

  • Katherine

    Amen gacase.

    Josh,

    Youth pastor is not mentioned in the bible because God already commands the older to serve and equip the younger.
    Missionary is not in scripture because God already commands his own to the Great
    Commission. To me that says it all. why does there need to be a position. The people have a place to serve. Youth pastors can take away from the older people in the church. I believe when the older in the church minister to the younger they are edified and built up while the younger are being challenged. It is a beautiful plan God knows best!!

  • Shawn Harrison

    So I just found this post, Tim. I can't say "THANK YOU" and "AMEN" loud enough!

    I'm tired of people telling me that my position is merely a stepping stone to "real ministry" (as a senior pastor), or that being a youth pastor is unbiblical (as you wrote about). I KNOW that calling He has given to me – others have affirmed it, people have spoken it over me, etc.

    In the end, I am accountable to God for what I have done with the calling and gifting He has entrusted me with – not man.

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