I have been asked a couple times where this series is headed. After the deconstructing, will we see a solution? Yes. As with anything we do in ministry, we should put all our cards on the table from time to time and ask the tough questions. Maybe we need to do some drastic overhaul, or maybe just a few little tweaks. Who knows.
When we invented this thing called youth ministry it wasn’t long before we had to have youth pastors to care for and manage the ministry. It makes sense. But there have been some problems along the way and they are not all the youth pastor’s fault.
So here are some of the issues we have seen in youth pastors:
This tends to be a bigger deal in some denominations and less so in others. You graduate from bible college and you want to be a pastor, a teaching/senior pastor. Prior to the invention of youth ministry in the seventies, it was very common for pastors to plant churches and/or be hired as senior pastors right out of college or seminary in their early twenties. Today this has become all but unthinkable and you rarely see a teaching pastor under thirty anymore.
So instead young pastors are forced to use youth ministry as a stepping stone to what they really feel called to do. I think this is the case more often than we are willing to admit. Someone who is just waiting for an opportunity to move on will not have the passion and drive that is needed for success.
Youth pastors every where sit in board meetings having idea after idea shot down. Weekly, they have parents make clear to them that they value youth ministry as little more than a good time. Youth pastors are relegated to managing a little church within a church and often have a hard time fitting in with the church as a whole.
Youth pastors are in the desert and it’s hard. They can hardly be serious about their ministry when they are hanging on by a thread to a dead end job.
It sounds less like youth pastors are not taking youth ministry seriously and more like youth pastors are not taken seriously