I saw the other day where a Pastor was looking for a Virtual Youth Pastor. It’s an intriguing idea, so, I thought I’d elaborate on it and build out what I think a Virtual Youth Pastor Job Description looks like.
But why would a church want a virtual youth pastor in the first place? It could be that the church itself is online and is not a physical building or that the church cannot afford an in person youth pastor but want their teens or teens in their community to have access to a reliable pastor who can listen, offer advice and spiritual development.
Here’s what I think the job description would look like
The person applying for Virtual Youth Pastor should
- be adept at online communication
- be able to organize online meetings
- be able to make online ministry feel personal
Note: There would still be the required background checks, etc.
The Virtual Youth Pastor will
- Meet with students weekly; offering multiple opportunities for engagement, service and discipleship
- Offer parents multiple opportunities to gather online to pray and discuss ministry with their kids and to their family.
- Create an online team who can assist with meeting the needs of parents and students.
If the church in question looking for a virtual youth pastor is local, there could be monthly in person meetings versus weekly in person meetings. If the church is not local, the virtual youth pastor could be flown in quarterly for in-person meetings, leadership training and conferences with the pastor and other (virtual) staff.
The Virtual Youth Pastor will submit monthly/weekly reports on
- how “meetings” were conducted, attendance, etc.
- discipleship relationships being formed.
- Issues teens are currently facing
Online meetings offers more data than a physical meeting. If you’re doing a live video, you know how many have watched, how long the video was watched and how how many times it was shared. It’s much easier for a teenager to like and share a video that it is to tell you they like the meeting and tell all their friends about the meeting.
Not every teen is a virtual hermit and I am certainly not saying that virtual pastoring is the only way a youth pastor should pastor. Humans are social creatures and need physical interactions to be healthy human beings.
It could be said that ever youth pastor is a virtual youth pastor because a lot of ministry takes place online between physical meetings. Clearly, in these times, youth workers have to become virtual youth pastors and I think that’s a good thing.
This pandemic has challenged youth workers to not rely on a physical meeting to share the gospel, which I think will be even more critical when they’re allowed to meet in person. Youth Workers have needed to expand their idea of how the gospel is shared beyond the meeting. Youth Workers can take nothing for granted and you must be ready to share “in season and out” in whatever format is available.
I am not recommending we abandon physical meetings, but a virtual youth pastor has no constraints. He/She can make videos whenever and kids watch whenever and engage whenever. Sixty to ninety minutes is not enough time for kids to share their stories or put into context what the youth worker has shared.
If the point of youth ministry is to minster to and disciple teens, you go where they are and minister to them in the format where they can best engage with the message of Jesus and the team that presents it. I hope many of you have grabbed on to this if you haven’t already.
If you need help navigating this new world, a new season of my coaching begin soon.