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I seriously think the success and longevity of youth ministry really hangs on the shoulders of youth pastors. What type of youth pastors are we producing for the future?

The Youth Pastor

ypWhat will youth pastors be like in 10 years?

Think about it… the youth ministry is a fairly new field, but has underwent many shifts.

Youth Ministry in the

80s= Sunday School

90s= Event, Pizza, and Gospel Message

Late 90s= “Purpose” Driven Youth Ministries

2002= Postmodern Youth Ministry

2009= Multiple youth ministries under one youth ministry

What is interesting is looking at what types of youth pastors come out of these different shifts.

Youth Pastors in the

80s= old guys/gals who love students and do it for free

90s=  Wild and crazy youth guys with no seminary training but a killer conversion story

Late 99s= goatees, models, and programs

2002= pissed off youth pastors who don’t like the church or home school kids

2009=informed, contextual, and open

I seriously think the success and longevity of youth ministry really hangs on the shoulders of youth pastors.  What type of youth pastors are we producing for the future?  That may be an encouraging or a scary thought.

Will the future youth pastors value:

education? church? theology? mission? programs? the Bible? numbers? Mega churches?  small churches? Jesus?

My predictions are that youth pastors will need to have:



They will need to be experienced in both the real world and church.  We are living in a post-Christian culture, which means church is not exactly the norm.  Too many church youth pastors are too church experienced and have no real world experience.  Essentially youth pastors will need to have more of a culture intelligence.



The future youth pastors will need to have a solid character.  Character is everything.  Character includes such things as self-discipline, modesty, teamwork, integrity, purity, virtuous, hard work ethic, loyal, honest, courageous, fearless, tenacious, intelligent, consideration for others, and determined.



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 leading a youth ministry will need to have a clear sense of mission and a cause for why they exist.  As churches decline, it will be imperative churches have a prophetic youth pastors able to communicate truth and tell it like it is while progressing forward regardless of the pain and resistance.


Another Job

Youth ministry does not pay well.  But we have tons of women and men who love youth ministry, which will compel them to do it and get paid peanuts.  Inflation is only increasing which means youth pastors will need to be bi-vocational if they want to take care of their family.  So if a person wants to commit to youth ministry, then it means working the late night shifts at McDonalds or writing a youth ministry book that pays great royalties.


I think (and I can be completely wrong) we will see less and less of these postmodern pansy type of youth pastors who are extremely moody, and see more and more of youth pastors that are committed to Truth, Jesus, action, missions, the local church, character, and exegesis of the Bible.

About Jeremy Zach

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


  1. character always is an issue…..whenever it wasn’t would be a lie. I don’t think there ever was a time when someone said, oh yeah character, thats not that high of a priority. To the idea of knowing every faith out there and having an answer…I don’t know if I am convinced. I would rather someone be able to defend his own ideas than tell me why others are wrong. just for thought. I don’t need to be able to tell a muslim why they’re mohamed is a false prophet but I better have a dang good reason why I think Jesus is the son of GOd and claimed to be God

  2. Who cars about all the trends; gloomy or positive forecasts. The Gospel is unstoppable. There has only been one way of doing ministry from the beginning. Word, Prayer, Fellowship. Disciples making Disciples.

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