That was a new one. On the other hand, was glad to find that out about him before we brought him on. No doubt he would have left as soon as a bigger church called. I remove myself for consideration. The drive is far for me.
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That interview ended quickly. He had 5 or so years experience in bi-vocational ministry. I could go on. It was so very odd. During that search I spoke with approximately 20 ministers in our city for potential recommendations and counsel, and I heard a lot of stories that were similar. Guys were frustrated. They served in small churches and large churches and had similar experiences with young minister candidates.
We were in a season of prayer as a church and the people, to their credit, did not lose heart, continued to pray and then, in His perfect time, God provided more than we anticipated and asked for an associate pastor who is more like a family minister now in our church, and a worship minister and did so in the most incredible of ways. We learned a lot through that process. It took a lot longer than we anticipated, but God worked in us and in His own time and we are thankful. We were searching and praying for a Student Ministry Pastor for just about a year since our previous Student Ministry Pastor was called by God to move into church planting.
We did not feel that we had someone in our congregation that could bring the skills and gifts needed to reach and disciple middle school, high school, and 20 somethings. Many of the Student Ministry applicants we had apply to our posting did not match our requirements or were a fit for our church. Some that we really liked went a different direction or were called to another church.
I resonate with what you share in your blog. Things are changing in Student Ministry culture, in Church culture, and in our Culture. It was a long road. But God provided the right guy at the right time who is a good fit with our staff and church. We have been looking for almost 2 years now. We keep hearing that less people are going into ministry and younger men are going into church planting.
The church as a whole needs to rethink how we do ministry to youth and how we raise up and develop future generations of pastors. Andy, you say you have been looking for almost 2 years, now. May I ask what exactly are you looking for? Rainer- Wow. That is a great question. The answer is not hard. Unrealistic Expectations 2. Low Pay 3. Under Resourced 4. Not Considered Professional 5.
The Grind 6. Family Issues 7. The Comparison Treatment 8. Hierarchy on Staff 9. Benefits These are just 10 reasons. Why would anyone want to take on the task of leading and mentoring a church, parents, and students to have to deal with these issues? Many churches are blind to the stress and strain of student ministry. There is so much to this issue. I do not believe enough attention is being given to it. Thank you for asking the question.
Just to be clear, I am an 18 year veteran of student, kids, and family ministry. I am a 24 year-old full-time student and discipleship pastor. None of this is scientific data, so take it with a grain of salt.
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I love what I do and the kids and families I get to minister to. Youth ministry is just something that they may be able to do well while they are young before they are ready to do something else in ministry. Church planting seems to be offering that to many young people, so they seem to be opting for planting instead of youth ministry.
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Church planting also often gives them an opportunity to work in the market place, which helps them reach lost people for their church plant, but also gives them additional salary. Many young guys in ministry are trying to start families, and a lot of churches seem to want full-time youth ministers on part-time salaries. Finally, I knew a lot of guys in school who resented their youth ministries.
Typically, the students that came from great youth ministries were more likely to be enthusiastic about youth ministry, and the ones who were not from great youth ministries were more likely to not want to do youth ministry. I hope this is helpful. Leadership models that seek out Godly Qualified youth pastors and also include them in executive level leadership positions add value to this role.
For me, I feel like an effective member of the staff who has a voice.
by Joseph L. Umidi
Really, we need to adjust our view on the hierarchy of pastors. Of course the lead pastor is in charge, but should be a 1st among equals. I was a youth minister for 17 years before becoming a senior pastor where I have served for the past 23 years. I agree with some of those statements and lived through them. However, all of the problem is not in the churches, seminaries, or senior pastors. We have had 3 different youth ministers over the past 16 years in the church where I now serve.
Each was in their mids. We experienced the same problems with all 3.
They all loved the kids and wanted to spend time with them — and that seemed to be the extent of youth ministry. I have observed a diminishing work ethic 20 hours is NOT full time. It seems that each of the 3 wanted to be a 1-man show. None wanted to work with a committee or ministry team. Hanging out with the kids is part of the job but only part of it — there is much more. The 1-man show adds to the burn out and frustration some have talked about.
It never builds longevity or creates a healthy, stable environment in the youth group.
Confirming the Pastoral Call: A Guide to Matching Candidates and Congregations
Thus, they move on, leaving the church wondering where to find someone who will build a healthy program. If I would have let the first youth pastor job I had leave a lasting impression, I would have chosen not do do youth ministry again. After doing other ministry jobs over the past 25 years, I was blessed to be offered a Middle School Minister position.
So I tell everyone that I got my dream job at A lot of people think what are you doing, I tell them I am doing what I am called to do, work with middle school students. I have been on staff for 5 years now starting my 6th year. Part of the problem that I see is that the cost of education along with what they think they are worth does not pan out. I do agree that they need the education and then that they should be paid well, but because of the debt they start out with they are not able to keep up.
So then they feel cheated because of they are not living a lifestyle they want. I believe God still calls young men into the student ministry, but there needs to be the mentoring in their lives as well as the education. The new youth pastor is usually dropped in the middle of the youth group and say OK , lock the door when you are done, given no advice, just keep them out of trouble. When a young person accepts the call, start the mentoring process. Let them intern, this is not just do the dirty work, but teach them, love and encourage them along the way.
This I believe will help develop strong youth leaders. My background: I have been serving vocationally in youth ministry for 12 years. Across all industries, it is increasingly recognized that college graduates are currently lacking in soft-skills.
http://www.bluebubblesrentals.com/includes I would guess that any industry that skews young in its hiring will find itself lacking qualified if EQ is needed candidates right now. The refinement of family ministry philosophies is driving educational and hiring focuses. Family Ministry degrees are gaining the attention of students who want to minister to teens.
Related Confirming the Pastoral Call: A Guide to Matching Candidates and Congregations
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