How much should a youth pastor be in the church office? Hanging with students? How much time should be spent preparing to teach? Program Planning? More importantly, where do you find the time to be with the Lord and read the Scriptures for your own personal enrichment?
I realize depending on the church size will determine if you will have strict or non-strict office hours. Typically the mega-churches are inflexible with office hours, while small to medium size churches are flexible with office hours.
Over the past few weeks I have been trying to find a balance being IN the office and being IN the community with students. When I am in the office 7 hours of the day I feel like I am working a real job. Let’s be honest all youth pastors do is play video games and eat hamburgers. Being a youth pastor is NOT a real job.
Any youth pastor (or any pastor) position requires them to play many parts, namely the: counselor, video game expert, theologian, friend, teacher, spiritual person, administrator, parental advocate, listener, discipliner, facebooker, and meeting professional.
The youth pastor has to find a balance of being personable while being professional. We always cannot be telling the jokes or planting the prank during staff meeting or hanging out with students. Chap Clark suggested to me that a youth pastor have a variety of clothing outfits (swim trunks, slants, dress shoes, causal clothing, button up shirt, athletic clothing, and DEODORANT) in their youth ministry closet. A youth pastor needs to be prepared at any time to dress for the part. In order to be a great and effective youth pastor they have to get really great at playing a lot of different parts–even if they do not like them.
A Typical Weekly Church Schedule
Tuesday// 10 – 4pm: Prep for High School program
5:30-9:00pm: High School program
Wednesday// 10 – 12pm: Staff Meeting
12- 1pm: Campus visits
2-4:30pm: Prep for Jr High program
4:30-6:30pm: Student relational time
7- 9pm: Jr High program
Thursday// 10-11:30am: Meeting with Lead Pastor
12-3pm: Theological and practical reflections of youth group nights
Friday// 8-11am: Plan and prep for Sunday School
11-4pm: Youth Ministry Administration (budget, emails, phone calls, newsletter, website updates,mailings, etc..)
Sunday// 8-2pm: Jr high program and be a presence in and after church services.
I would love to hear how ya’ll balance your schedules and office hours? When do ya’ll read and have your “quiet time”?
I love getting things done. My saying is: Make it happen captain! I am always wanting to learn how to be the best youth pastor who can manage his time effectively, while being spiritually healthy.
One of the most time consuming elements of youth ministry is planning– especially teaching and game prep.
How is your youth ministry productivity levels? Are you the youth pastor managing to achieve high productivity, considering your office hours?
Here are some resources to save you time: