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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