What are the qualifications of a youth pastor?
NIV Deuteronomy 25:4 Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.
I will attempt to argue what it means to be a qualified youth pastor.
Entering the youth pastorate is not easy. It sucks getting paid nickels and quarters, meeting the demands of parents, elders, and students.
Youth pastors aren’t lazy. Youth ministry is not only fun and games. Being a youth pastor is not a “cute” job. Youth pastors are not only “THE YOUTH PASTOR.”
One of my mentors once told me if the youth pastor has the ability to set up, maintain, and sustain a kick butt youth ministry, he/she will be able to anything they set their mind to.
Youth pastors need to be OXs! We have to realize everything hangs on the youth pastors leadership.
Traits of a OX like Youth Pastor:
Character is everything. Character includes such things as self-discipline, modesty, teamwork, integrity, purity, virtuous, hard work ethic, loyal, honest, , fearless, tenacious, and determined. Character and responsibility are everything. The youth pastor must be transforming, not conforming. Every OX leader must grow in Christ like character (Matt 25.14-30, Luke 8.4-15, 2 Cor 5.17-21, Ephesians 4.17-5.2, Genesis 2.7, Isaiah 64.8, and 2 Cor 4.7-11)
It is essential the youth pastor teaches with power, authority, and with excellency. Teach from the Bible and connect points with clear application steps. Great books for youth ministry teaching: Unleashing God’s Word in Youth Ministry by Barry Shafer, Speaking to Teenagers: How to Think About, Create, and Deliver Effective Messages by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbin, and Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones.
Confronting problems and conflict is a huge part of youth ministry. If not prepared on how to handle conflict, problems will destroy you. Youth pastors need to know how to discipline. If they don’t know how to discipline, their students will run all of them! I guarantee it. Youth pastors need to know how to spot out a wolf and rebuke a wolf. You will not know if your are a Shepard until a wolf shows up. It is difficult rebuking your students, but they need it and your youth ministry needs it. Youth ministry is one big-difficult conversation.
Great Family/Relational Person
Great daddy/husband/wife/mother: The youth pastor must have his/her family life in order. If you cannot effectively manage the family, there is no way you will be able to manage a youth ministry.
NT Office–Shepard, King, Priest
Detect if you are a Prophet, Priest, and King.
A prophet is a youth pastor who has high vision, passion, discipline for the things to come. A prophet is not scared to rebuke people of their sins and doctrine. I would consider some of the reforming guys prophets.
A Priest is the ultimate Shepard. A Priest uses the “love” card a lot and really cares, nurtures, and has a big heart for their students. I would consider some of the emerging guys Priests.
A King is the youth pastor who dominates everything. The King is highly skilled in management, organizational structure, and is a great communicator. I would consider some of the mega youth pastor’s Kings.
It is important you know what type of New Testament office you hold. Whatever office you are, will determine what type of youth ministry you will build.
The youth pastors has to realize leadership is everything!
Knowing how to study the scriptures and study secular culture is imperative in order to be successful in youth ministry. The youth ministry world needs more youth pastors that are street smart. Notice I didn’t say church smart, but street smart. The future youth pastor will need to know how to integrate culture, theology, and youth ministry. It will be huge if youth pastors are seminary trained and have a great public school education. Churches will need youth pastor to be very comfortable explaining why the other faiths are wrong and be able to clearly articulate a logical response without looking like a Christian idiot.
“….every youth pastor should never stop training and never stop learning.”