Being a youth ministry professional for over 25 years, I have a somewhat unique perspective on what it takes to be an unforgettable youth pastor. Maybe you’ll resonate with some of these. I hope not.
1o. Treat the old folks like they’re too stupid to live. They have NO IDEA what it’s like to be a teenager.
9. Make your space unattainable and unfamiliar for anyone over the age of 16. No one – NO ONE – should be happy to be in that space except teenagers.
8. Never tell the office staff where you are or what you’re doing. It’s none of their business anyway – they don’t know how many ‘off hours’ you spend with students. Take that flex time. You deserve it.
7. Tell the children’s pastor to suck it. All they do is glitter and crayons. Real ministry with kids only happens if you can talk about dating and show PG-13 movies.
6. Don’t make rules. Kids won’t come back if you’re too strict.
5. Do everything in your power to become a surrogate parent. Those people don’t even listen to their kids, much less care about them. They’re hoping you’ll fix their kids anyway.
4. Don’t invest in professional development. You already know all that crap. Don’t waste the money.
3. Remember that church is your provider – and be demanding if they cannot meet your needs. Make them listen.
2. Don’t come under the authority of the pastor, the elders, or the Dorcas class. They’ll all run rough-shod over the student ministry if you let them. Give them an inch…they’ll take a mile
1. Don’t read your Bible for personal use. If you can’t create a study from it, it’s not worth your time.
There’s more than one way to be memorable. Keep it classy, youth leaders.