Seminary trains you to exegete Scripture but doesn’t train you to manage people.
This is a big problem.
Bible college and seminary graduates have mad Bible skills but don’t have mad business skills.
It took me a long time to realize that my business administration in youth ministry was horrible. Thankfully, I had a lot friends who succeeded in entrepreneurship that helped me educate myself in business.
I wish I went to business school before I went to seminary.
I feel like mastering excel spreadsheets and learning how business, people and systems work are more applicable than my Hebrew exegesis classes. Seminary is important, however it is up to the youth pastor to learn real life business skills that will greatly make his/her youth ministry position at the church way easier. I am finding that youth pastors don’t have clue about business.
For example, youth pastors dont have a clue about how to:
– have a productive and purposeful meeting
– develop, manage and raise money
– lead people through change (navigating organizational behavior)
– get stuff done fast and efficient (aka productivity)
– adminstrate databases (by the way the best youth ministry database that will help youth ministry administration is ministrytracker.com)
– write a 1,2,3 and 5 year ministry plans
– market and message youth ministry events
– set up and maintain sustainable systems
– give an engaging presentation
– recruit, manage and maintain leaders
– hire, train and fire staff
Here are ways seminary trained youth pastors can become very business savvy:
Organize a business counsel for your youth ministry– Find successful business people in your church and ask them to be apart of your business counsel. This can be a really informal thing. Basically if you need help with any business thing you can pick up the phone and give them a call to seek their wisdom. Churches are organizations that deal with money and people so it is wise for you to surround yourself with smart business men and women who deal with money and people in the real world. In my previous context, I hung out with really successful and smart entrepreneurs and picked their brains about how to start businesses from the ground up. I formed a business counsel for my youth ministry which helped me navigate fundraising, budgeting and how go about making key decisions. I always loved learning from business leaders in my community because they were realist, knew how to get things done and were very direct.
Read business books— I have gleaned soooo much from reading business books. The best business resource I have found is The Personal MBA book and program. Essentially Josh Kaufman designed a reading list of 99 books that is equivalent to getting a MBA education. These 99 featured books are amazing business books which are based on thousands of hours of research. Check out the reading list here and get reading!!!!!!
Buy the books The Minister’s MBA: Essential Business Tools for Maximum Ministry Success and Youth Ministry Management Tools– These are the best books out there that intersect ministry and business administration.
Listen to business school lectures via itunes- Go to the Itunes U (in the itunes store) and listen to top professors at top business schools around the country. I learned so much from listening to these lectures and the best part— it is free!!!