I write a column for Group Magazine called The Youth Ministry Drill Sergeant. Sometimes, I’m known for shooting straight – plain talk – ‘telling it like it is.’ :) Today will be one of those days. Inspired by a friend of mine (you’ll hear from him tomorrow), I’m throwing out three ‘gems’ of wisdom – straight talk for the new youth pastor.
1. Parents are not your problem. You are. Stop viewing parents as the enemy. They are the most important spiritual force a student will ever have. If you marginalize them – you marginalize the student. Build some bridges. Make an effort – even if they don’t.
2. Don’t spend more time on programming than you do relationships and Bible study. It makes your ministry a mile wide and an inch deep (and it might make YOU that, too.) It’s a slippery slope – so pay attention to where your best efforts are being funneled.
3. Your age is relative and does NOT make your more relatable to students. What helps students relate to adults is care – concern – love – investment. You will be old some day – and unless you’re using youth ministry as a stepping stone, you better hope your age isn’t the only thing you have going for you. Use various age groups for leadership in your ministry – just make sure they all love God and love teenagers. That’s what makes them relevant in the life of teenagers.
More straight talk tomorrow….this message brought to you by your friendly neighborhood drill sergeant.