When I first took a role in youth ministry, I really did think everything was my job. To often I worked beyond my job description to meet some unmet need. I stepped over lines and assumed roles that were never mine to take. I had no boundaries. If the youth ministry was going to be successful I had to release certain faux roles and embrace the role God had called me to and gifted me for.
I came to the conclusion that I have only two roles when it comes to Youth Ministry.
1. Create and atmosphere to know God.
This is my highest priority. My best work is done when I put the time and energy into the one thing I am truly responsible for: The mid-week meeting. That meeting is the one place I can make the most difference for the most people. If I fail at connecting kids to God, all I do is put more stress on myself to make change happen and I can’t change anyone. When I accept the role of creating an atmosphere where we can all connect with God, I limit the amount of work and worry I create for myself.
2. Create opportunities to serve God
Once a kid has been connected to God through a relationship with Jesus Christ, I want that kid serving not sitting. The longer it takes for me to to get that student serving, the more likely their faith will not take flight. I work from the inside out.
I ask kids to take roles and responsibilities inside the youth ministry because it’s theirs for the next six years and I only know a handful of youth workers who make it that far. I want to set kids up to succeed beyond any tenure I may have. After the inside responsibilities of the midweek program, I challenge kids to go further through local missions and eventually foreign missions.
I know what your thinking, “I don’t have that luxury to focus on only two things.” I understand, I don’t either, but, I organize my life, my time, and my energy around those two things. I know we all still have to do hospital visits, staff meetings, and the occasional toilet plunging not including home responsibilities and a personal life. That’s why I have to be doggedly determined and disciplined (that’s a lot of D’s). It a long term commitment that has paid off for me.
What do you see as your primary role(s) as a youth pastor?
Can you narrow it down to just two things? One thing?
How’s your focus and discipline? What do you have to let go of that’s getting in the way of the one or two things you must do to have a successful youth ministry?
Click HERE to move to Secret # 3: Developing an Outreach Strategy