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The Longevity of Youth Pastors | REyouthpastor.com | Home youth ministry, youth pastor
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It is my goal to be a youth ministry lifer. This Fall I am entering my 7th year of youth ministry and I hope I have many more successful years of youth ministry. I attended this open space because I wanted to learn and listen to veteran youth pastors about how to best endure youth ministry vocational hardships.

The Longevity of Youth Pastors

oldNIV 2 Timothy 2:3: Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

The ministry veteran Paul is writing to the young buck, Timothy.  Paul is blunt with Timothy that no matter what ministry setting and/or position, there will be hardship and difficulties.  Paul reminds Timothy that he must be wise, strong, and embrace perseverance in order to make it.

It is my goal to be a youth ministry lifer.  I have been doing youth ministry for seven years and I hope I have many more successful years of youth ministry.

Why Many Youth Pastors Cannot Make It For The Long Haul:

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01.  Money

Youth ministry does not pay a lot of money.  How does a youth pastor provide for his/her family when he/she gets paid bread crumbs?  Generally many youth pastors have to “move on” once they start having a family and want to actually buy a house.  I think a few youth pastor will actually admit that they have to move on or up so they were able to actually pay the bills.  It is very difficult for a small church youth pastor to have financial freedom for 20+ years.

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02.  Freshness

To be a youth pastor, you need some type of edge, energy, endurance, and passion in order to make it through the overnighters and jr high madness.  But at some point every youth pastor must ask:  Am I too old to be doing youth ministry?  Have I over stayed my current position?  Do students put up with me?  Or do student genuinely want to be around me?  Every youth pastor must accept the reality that they don’t have what it takes to be a youth pastor any more.  I think only a select few youth pastors can still do youth ministry in their 40s.  I think youth pastor lifers are rare breeds.  Bottom line: if a youth pastor still loves kids, loves God, and the kids love him/her, then they should be good.

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03.  Burnt Out & Jaded

I got a list of these “retired” youth pastors who are mad and angry at the church.  These youth pastors should be only mad at themselves.  Not taking your day off and running around doing “ministry” will literally destroy you, your soul, and your youth ministry.  Church are not necessary concern about their youth pastor’s soul.  Unfortunately youth pastors only become church causalities.

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A Few Ways To Make It For The Long Haul:

> Be proactive<

>Be present with your family<

>Use all your vacation time<

>Take monthly spiritual retreats<

>Read…read a lot<

>Learn to effectively communicate frustrations to senior church leadership<

>Get a pastoral support group<

>Get a therapist<

>Learn to say No to everyone, except for your family<

>Pray to God always asking HIM for discernment for your youth ministry career<

>Don’t let age and hair style determine what type of youth pastor you are<

>Don’t be shy to ask for a raise<

>>Remember do not attach your youth ministry call to a specific church.  It is more about your youth ministry call, than what church you are doing youth ministry in<<

The end is your youth ministry call.  The mean is what church you are doing youth ministry in.  Never let the mean outweigh the end.  Amen?

About Jeremy Zach

Orange XP3 Specialist | Youth Worker | MDIV | Hot Sauce Addict | Dr. Dre Beats Lover

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