I can remember wanting to be a youth pastor so bad, I would have taken any job, and I did. They were my fever dream decisions. If I had read the job description better and put on my thinking hat instead of my heart hat, I could have avoided a few things like working too much for too little and getting in over my head.
Every church ad for a YP differs from church to church based on denomination, size of church, etc. Some churches put everything in the job description you will be doing and others out just enough to lure you in and then CLANK! the gate slams and you’re caught.
I want you to be able to discern what a church is asking of you so you can decide this is good fit and if you should even apply for.
Let’s get started. This is a real ad and church names. etc. have been left out.
JOB DESCRIPTION: Family Life Coordinator (this means you’re about to do a lot of work and not just youth pastoring)
The Family Life Coordinator is a qualified professional teambuilder who contributes to the mission of the Church both by active service and by personal example. The Coordinator interacts with parish and diocesan staff, and the People of God – especially youth and their families – to promote authentic religious values and authentic Church teachings.
Note: Churches put fancy talk in their job descriptions. Besides, what is a Qualified Professional? Do you need a certificate?
The Coordinator serves in promoting family life in the parish, principally through running a Middle School and High School youth program, interacting with wider parish membership, being present at parish events, and managing the parish social media and membership communications. The Coordinator will accomplish the following responsibilities:
Note: I made this statement bold because managing social media is a full job in itself. Trust me ( blog, podcast, youtube, etc.) I smell over worked and underpaid immediately. So far, they have said they want a qualified professional teambuilder and a social media director (2 jobs, paid for one I would negotiate higher pay from the get go if you have any certifications in these areas)
1. Develops successful Middle School and High School youth programs, including a team of volunteers, that meet once a week (except for vacation periods) during the school year and include occasional special activities/initiatives.
Note: make them define, in writing, what they think a successful MS and HS programs look like. You are cheating yourself if you don’t have a clear goal.
2. Facilitates the recruitment and training of volunteers for the youth programs.
Note: What is the median age of the church, is there enough viable people to recruit, is there an established council, or are you on your own?
3. Leads a delegation of youth/families/individuals to the annual March for Life in Washington, DC.
4. Manages the parish web site, Facebook page, Twitter/Instagram accounts, and makes recommendations on effective social media usage to the Pastor.
5. Evaluates and further develops means of regular communication and outreach with parishioners: SMS/text, email, parish app, bulletin, etc.
Note: Once agin. Job #3 Manage a website. Skill not listed in qualifications.
6. Assists with the layout and production of the weekly parish bulletin.
Note: No, just no. This is job #4
10. Keeps statistics and metrics so that the effectiveness of our activities/initiatives can be measured on an occasional (at least annual) basis.
Note: First thing I’ve read that I like. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth measuring.
11. Attends periodic staff meetings (usually monthly).
12. Works with the DRE to run background checks on and ensure Youth Protection certification for all volunteers.
Note: Another thing I like. A church that does not do background checks is asking for trouble. In fact, you should not work at a church that does not do this at some level.
13. Assist the Secretary occasionally with phone/receptionist responsibilities for brief periods.
Note: Job number #5!!! Stop reading and move on. They cannot afford you at this point.
14. Collaborates with the Wedding Coordinator on the usage of the Cathedral Life Center.
Note: Job #6 Wedding Coordinator. Say no to the dress.
15. Collaborates with other parish activities and initiatives on the common promotion of family life in the parish.
16. Assist with occasional “all hands on deck”-type parish events, under the direction of the Pastor.
Note: All hands on deck? I don’t have any hands left.
SUPERVISED BY: The Pastor/Rector
SUPERVISES: Team Volunteers
LEADS/GUIDES: Team Volunteers
Note: A) I supervise volunteers they do not supervise me. B) We are peers and mutually accountable for God’s work.
- Required: Bachelor of Arts or equivalent, as well as prior experience with youth programs and demonstrated competence and prudence with social media.
Note: They forgot the degree in Social Media, Wedding Coordinating, and All Hands On Deck-ology.
- Desired: Demonstrated success in a similar position held previously.
LICENSES, CERTIFICATION AND/OR REGISTRATIONS: N/A
EQUIPMENT/TOOLS/WORK AIDS: Computer skills, copying machine, and knowledge of other office equipment
Note: Double Nope! Ok, you should know how to push the copy button.
SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS: Must be:
9. Creative, without imposing personal opinions on people.
10. Organized and able to multi-task through wise prioritization and scheduling.
Note: Number 9 is pure garbage. If you’re a creative who cannot push your ideas forward, why are they paying you? This may have been placed in here due to a former pushy employee. That’s how rules get made.
PERSONAL TRAITS QUALITIES & APTITUDES: Friendly, willing to work with others and have the capacity to delegate tasks. Open to the ideas of others. Willing to work for the greater good of the Parish, the Diocese, and the Universal Church. Willing to use personal gifts for the good of the whole. Able to win the respect and loyalty of co-workers. Able to relate to youth in a prudent manner and encourage them in their practice of the faith and spiritual/human growth.
- Be flexible, assertive, persuasive, organized, and highly motivated
- Demonstrate an ability to accept responsibility for direction, control, and planning of an activity
- Demonstrate an ability to make generalizations, evaluations, and decision based on sensory or judgmental criteria
- Demonstrate an ability to perform a variety of duties requiring the changing from one task to another without loss of efficiency or composure
- Demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively with people of all socioeconomic backgrounds
- Demonstrate an ability to solve problems in a creative and effective manner
- Be willing to assess personal strengths and weaknesses and receive and respond to performance reviews and constructive criticism
Note: This person does not exist, so it cannot be you.
Verdict: They want you to work 6 jobs and pay you for one. This job is an F. Do not apply.
If you’re looking at Youth Pastor job ads, and see one that is crazy, send it over to me and I’ll be happy to dissect and grade it.
If you would like practice applying for a youth ministry job, I offer practice interviews HERE