10 REAL Secrets to Being an Unforgettable Youth Pastor

????????????????????????????????????????So, yeah, in case you missed it…that list from Monday.  Farce.  Not real.  Don’t do it.  Try these instead.

10.  Invest in parents.  They’re the most important spiritual influence their kids have (good or bad).  And most are desperately trying to hold their heads above water.

9.  Know your pastor.  Chances are, no one is ministering to him/her.  Maybe you are here for such a time as this.

8.  Balance mercy and justice.  Students need grace, but they also need guidelines.  Giving them both, with love, is a non-negotiable.

7.  Set boundaries for your family.  Not everyone will like that – but they’re all watching to see how your family ‘rates’ in your life.  It could be the most teachable moment you ever offer them.

6.  Invest in getting better, not smarter.  Regardless of how you pursue continuing education, make sure it’s sharpening your skills, not just your intellect.  (Nothing worse than a youth leader who knows all the answers, but has no idea how to deliver them!)

5.  Never go over budget.  Period.  We prefer the term frugal over cheap.

4.  Be seen.  The whole world is a red carpet and you are Lady Gaga.  Football games, grocery stores, and the church office.

3.  Guard your heart.  Though most will never know directly the accountability measures you set for your life, they’ll sure find out if you fail to have any.

2.  Sabbath.  Wherever you can for as long as you can.  Which if you’re being unforgettable in a lot of other ways, may not be much…and only in the bathroom.

1.  Love students.  People notice it.  And then they catch it.  And that’s when you truly become most memorable….

10 Secrets to Being an Unforgettable Youth Pastor

spongebob_secrets_10Being 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.

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