What Does It Take To Be A Good Youth Pastor
Modified: January 9, 2024
Being a good youth pastor is being the living and breathing bridge between God and His people. So, what does one need to become one?
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Can your life touch another life? Even without being an adult, is it possible for someone to boldly save someone? Absolutely. Mark 16:15-16 tells us to spread the Word of God and that whoever believes, will be saved. Unfortunately, the youth as of today is denying the Gospel more and more as time unfolds. Because of the early exposure to social media and other driving influences, God’s Word is becoming more challenging to spread. But, hope is not lost. God has chosen some individuals who are passionate and driven to spread the Word of God in a generation that aims to deny the truth. These people who act as God’s voice among the loud crowd is what we call a youth pastor. So, what does it take to become God’s warrior?
What’s A Youth Pastor?
A youth pastor is someone who passionately works for different ministries or churches in spreading the Word of God. These people have a specific target; the youth. Youth pastors educate the younger generation about God, teaching them how to pray and worship. Most of the time, they offer their presence in aiding community-related works. They encourage them to study the Bible individually or better still, in a small group led by someone in the church leadership. Basically, these people are voluntary mediators between the Word of God and the people. Anyone who calls themselves a youth pastor or just a pastor, should have a godly character, act on what they preach, and have the heart of a shepherd (1 Peter 5:1-5).
More Than Preaching
Before the needed qualities for becoming a good youth pastor, there is one requirement that should be present in someone aiming to find more disciples for God and that is leadership. Indeed, each youth pastor has different styles in handling situations and speaking to crowds. But, leadership is a characteristic all these people have in common and a youth pastor cannot thrive without it. Here are some of the misconceptions about youth pastors.
It’s all about Preaching
As stated earlier, leadership is a requirement. A youth pastor’s job does include preaching but, it does not stop there nor is it limited to only preaching. In reality, youth pastors are responsible for leading events and gathering participants. Others would even handle multiple social media sites and make posters for any church-related events or activities. During intercampus or youth-related events, youth pastors act as main organizers too. They don’t just give orders while sitting and relaxing. So, though preaching is a part of their mission, there really is a lot more than that. Plus, they also study and plan ahead before they preach. Basically, youth pastors are leaders, creators, preachers, artists, moderators, students, teachers, and organizers in one body!
There are No Requirements.
Youth pastors are leaders. Therefore, requirements are needed before they can become youth pastors. The people we see leading the younger generations aren’t chosen randomly. Instead, these people are volunteers and have proven their willingness to serve in this particular ministry. And before they are able to lead, they have to go through some guidance and training of their own by the youth pastor. In fact, some ministries have specific requirements for specific roles. For example, one may need a degree in theology to preach, while other ministries require previous community outreach program experiences or teaching experiences before they get appointed in a task. These requirements are needed in order for the Word of God to reach different and specific ministry targets. These youth pastors are people who are more than willing to comply with these requirements.
If you are still interested in spreading the Word of God amidst these challenges. Well, below are some of the traits or characteristics you will need towards the path of leading.
Mastering How to Become A Youth Pastor
Whenever we watch the news, we see and listen to the words of the news anchor regarding an occurring issue about our country and the world. These TV personalities have undergone many stages before they were able to relay the news to the public. Some of them have to read scripts, some have to master in a particular subject, and some have to win broadcasting competitions. This is similar to youth pastors. Before anyone can become a youth pastor, there are traits that are needed, and challenges to be accepted. With that, here’s everything a person needs towards the path of becoming a good youth pastor.
A Strong Relationship with God
Of course, it all starts and ends with God. A good youth pastor works for God and only Him. They understand that God is the only reason for their devotion and that He is more than enough to become a driving force for their efforts. Being a youth pastor is more than a mission more than it is a “job”. It is expected that problems are going to rise along the way but, these people never back down. They never do because they know exactly Who they are doing this for. If a youth pastor has a strong relationship with God then, this person is going to be strong in multiple ways as well.
If sailors have their decks, graphic artists with their graphic tablets, and singers with their microphones- A youth pastor has the Bible as their office, strength, and tool. Of course, if a person is tasked to spread the Word, it comes as a given that this person must know the Word themselves. Earlier, it was mentioned that youth pastors are also students. As they preach and listen, they also learn from God, those whom they pastor, and their experiences. The Biblical terms, stories, reflections, and rules God whispers to them are what they send off to those who need it. Also, there is a big problem if people are not familiar with what the Word tells them. Therefore, it is the youth pastor’s job to make sure they are grounded in the Word. They should understand and reflect upon the Bible.
A Calm Heart
In Acts 2:13, the disciples were mocked when the Holy Spirit came and blessed them during the Pentecost. Even Jesus was mocked despite Him being the Son of Man (Mark 15:29-30). The point is, when people cannot accept the truth, they resort to mocking it. This was present even during the time of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is very likely to occur over and over again.
Today, in this day and age, where people are slowly negating from the truth, those who are on a mission to open their eyes become subjects for insults and negativity. Surely, this is very upsetting. But, a good youth pastor knows that this is bound to happen and he or she addresses all of these with a calm heart like Jesus. When someone accepts a mission from God, he or she accepts everything that comes along with it. As long as one’s relationship is strong with God, this person will be strong no matter what. No shame, embarrassment, or fear can ever stop the flame God has put to those who work for Him.
Wisdom is a wonderful virtue. Sadly, the world is running out of it too. This is when youth pastors come into the picture. When people are slowly getting into bad decisions and habits, a youth pastor can detect this and find solutions for this in accordance with the Bible. In the past, elders were considered wise because they directed people in making good life decisions; hence the quote “with age comes wisdom and maturity”. And that’s one of the things a youth pastor aims to be.a youth pastor should want to lead a community that worships God and acts in pursuant to His Words. Wisdom is a trait that is invisible but, strong in terms of saving someone from themselves.
2 Timothy 4:2 reminds us to preach the Word and be prepared in and out of the season. Being a youth pastor is not circumstantial. It is a mission that is consistently being fought for. Therefore, organization skills are important. A good mediator of the Word must always be prepared; he or she does not preach the Bible without preparing ahead of time. Then again, being a youth pastor is being a leader. So, it is expected of them to have their works ready for any time God’s people need to hear them.
This is one of the most important skills a youth pastor should have. Communication is the key to leading people to God. When missionaries are sent to an area, they don’t just “talk” about God. What they really do is communicating God’s Word into a culture or a set of people’s level of understanding and standards so that they can grasp what the Bible is telling them. Since youth leaders target the younger generation, good communication means that these disciples of God must be able to communicate His Words in a way that the youth can understand.
It is like making an instructional pamphlet for the elderly on how to use their phones. A good youth pastor understands that they should be flexible so that the audience can relate to them. Sometimes, a mission might not be well-engaged not because the audience denies the teachings but because they don’t see themselves in the examples, statements, and facts being used.
In connection to good communication skills, empathy is the ability to feel a certain group of people’s struggles. Youth pastors and leaders should learn to use it to have the ability to connect the Word of God. As for the youth, they usually deal with societal pressure, anxiety, and academic stress. If someone spoke to them about parenthood or managing a business in light of trusting God., chances are, they cannot feel what they do not experience.
On the other hand, empathy is the ability to see what the audience needs to hear and projects it in a way that empathizes. For example, most experienced youth pastors who preach in universities usually tackle school related-issues like; how to find the motivation to study harder or how to find strength in dealing with academic pressure with God! The youth should feel like the pastor understands what they are going through and knows exactly that God is the remedy.
Patience is an important skill for all jobs that involve the engagement of people. A good youth pastor is not easily disappointed, angered, and affected by whatever problem meets them. The trickiest part of missions like these is getting people to listen to what you have to say about God without them dismissing you immediately. Additionally, others might have negative or uninterested reactions towards you. But, a good youth pastor is patient. He or she accepts all of the challenges faced by someone who acts as a bridge between God and people. They can wait for hours, travel for days, become the subject of criticism, and mocked by many but, what they cannot do is stop.
A good youth pastor understands that dealing with people is what their job requires. Their target will be people. So, they need to possess good social skills that can accommodate meeting new people and talking to them. Even before they officially become a pastor, being in a youth ministry alone demands someone to socialize with many. And of course, youth leaders manage events so the need to socialize is really needed to execute a successful and engaging event for different types of people.
What If You Don’t Have These Skills?
What happens if you don’t possess a skill or more? Should you not pursue the life of being a youth pastor now? To answer that, let’s go back to Exodus 4:10-12. This was when God chose Moses to lead His people. Now, Moses was not confident about himself at the time. He told God that he isn’t eloquent and that he is “slow of speech and of the tongue”. God then proceeds to ask him who made man’s mouth, and assured Moses that God will act as his mouth and teach him exactly what to speak. This man, Moses, who questioned his abilities had very little trust but when he allowed God to dwell in him during his mission, this man became the leader that led Jews out of slavery in Egypt. If God made this possible before, He can make it possible for you again.
Serving God has abilities you need to acquire not because God needs you to have this but because people choose what they listen to. Do not worry about lacking pastoral skills because as long as you set your heart to God, all these skills will be placed within you. It is like how employees get their uniforms and training from their bosses. The moment you decide to become a disciple, God will bless you with the skills you need. Don’t worry, God has chosen youth pastors and they are not left unsupervised by the Lord they serve.
How Do You Become One?
Now that the skills needed to become one are established, how does one really become a youth pastor? Well, many factors are considered and they may vary depending on what ministry and where the ministry is. Here are the common requirements of being a youth pastor.
Contact or Be Contacted
Sometimes, youth pastors are contacted by ministries to take on different projects. However, these usually occur when a youth pastor has a social media presence or is someone who is already known in the field. These happen sometimes but, usually, it is the youth pastor that contacts and reaches out to youth ministries. Now, how does one contact a youth ministry?
Youth ministries usually have posters or online posts when they need volunteers or youth pastors. But, today, there are multiple sites that connect these people to ministries like hireayouthpastor.com. Other ways include going to Facebook groups for ministries or even youth organizations who are in need of one.
Experience May or May Not Be Needed.
Not all ministries are built the same. Some will need someone who is either a degree holder in a specific subject or someone with experience in preaching and leading, while others do not require a degree. If you do not have any prior experience, don’t worry! you can always start by getting involved with volunteer works and attend seminars regarding preaching and youth leadership. From there, the church leaders will teach and guide you, helping you become the person God wants you to be.
Knowing Your Platform
If you are not in an area with many youth ministries looking for pastors, do not stop. The good thing about today’s youth pastors is how they can take advantage of the immense connecting power of social media and content sharing sites. You can start your mission by building up little-by-little in the virtual world. You can join Facebook groups and post there, upload Youtube videos, make blogs and articles, email other youth ministries, and show them your intentions. There will always be a way for someone to become a youth pastor.
Read more: Chapter 6, pp. 237-252 Galatians 6:1-18
A Mission Received
Here’s what people don’t tell others about being a youth pastor; it is absolutely one of the greatest jobs in the world! Being able to act as a mediator between the Word of God to an audience that needs to hear it is not only satisfying but, fulfilling. A youth pastor not only brings Christian youths together. They also bring together Christian youths and youths who deny the existence of God and the Gospel as well. Realistically speaking, there really are challenges faced by those who choose this path. However, the feeling is nothing compared to the bliss of knowing that God is using you as His instrument.