youth minister

How to keep a Youth Minister /Pastor /Director

by jpserrano on November 18, 2011 · 3 comments

Here is my top 15 things a church can do to keep their youth worker.

  1. Pay well.  A first year youth worker in a church should earn the starting salary of a first year teacher in the area.
  2. Give vacations.  At least 3 weeks a year and 4 Sundays.
  3. Give “comp time.”  If they worked 50 hours one week, let them take 10 hours off the next week.
  4. Do not expect the spouse to work in the Youth Ministry.  Your paying for 1 person.
  5. Sundays are work hours too.
  6. Overnighters should be included in comp time (including the time they’re asleep).
  7. Require time doing nothing but being silent, in prayer, and reading scripture.  Spiritual Disciplines should be a part of the job description.
  8. Don’t expect to see them much in the office.  They should be doing a lot of stuff away from the office.  Unless the office is a spot a lot of youth come to.
  9. Don’t micromanage the ministry.  Encourage, support, advise but give freedom.
  10. Give permission to fail.
  11. Judge the ministry based on quality of ministry not the quantity of youth.
  12. Invite them over for dinner.
  13. Watch their children so they can go out on a date.
  14. Make them accountable to the senior pastor not the church board.
  15. Be clear on expectations.  Have them in writing.

(Like any blog, it doesn’t go well if it is only one sided.  Please add your own to the list in the comments)


Youth Ministry Corrections

by jpserrano on October 31, 2011 · 1 comment

I have been in youth and family ministry for 10 years, worked for 4 congregations under 7 different Pastors.  In my experience here are some corrections that need to be made in youth ministry (in no particular order).

1. Being late or ending late (please respect my time and the time of the youth by starting and ending when you say your going to)

2. Being disorganized (Youth Minstry takes a lot of organization.  Plan ahead!  Spontaneity is a good quality, but not for the lack of good planning)

3. Not taking it seriously (Some youth workers, and congregations, think that because their working with youth it’s all fun and games.  That is only a part of what we should do)

4. Not expecting enough (Kids in High School are studying Shakespeare, they can understand deeper levels of meaning)

5. Hiring uneducated or no experience Youth Ministers (This is not so much the YM fault, but the congregation who is trying to get a cheap “babysitter” for the youth group.  If you are going to hire someone young and without experience it should cost you more because you’ll demand and pay for more training events)

6. Not publicizing events (you have to tell people several times that there is an event, if you don’t give them notice, don’t expect them to come)

7. Congregations who don’t understand that youth are going to break things (their not doing it on purpose, well at least most of the time)

8. Pastors who think the Youth Minister’s salary is the reason the congregation is in the red (do I even need to explain this)

9.  Pastors who see youth ministry as a subordinate ministry because the youth minister is not ordained (see this post for more info)

10. Congregations who don’t understand that children and youth are going to make noise during worship (it’s ok for kids to make noise during church, it is not right to think they can sit their and be quiet for an hour.  The adult world needs to get used to noise during worship)

These are just a few of the things I was thinking about today.




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R.I.P. Youth Director as a Position in the Church

I am of the firm belief that we should take the position of Youth Director in the ELCA hit it with a shovel in the back of the head and bury it.  It no longer does the Church any good to look for a “youth director” in order to provide the inadequate forms youth ministry […]

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