“I am nothing but in you Christ I am everything.” -LB
I am a fairly young lady. I attend a secular college and I’m around different types of religions, backgrounds, races and creeds every day. I love it dearly and I love you dearly. Through this day to day journey called life I have learned so much. God has opened my eyes and has blessed me with tremendous growth. God is so good. Please realize this is not me, this is a message from God who lives through and in me. All powers, gifts and knowledge are from the Lord. Please receive it and listen to Gods voice. I will be praying for all of us. Amen.
How to be a youth Pastor
1.Look to the Lord and his word for your MAIN source in teaching.
1 “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.”
“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.” 4-7
I have met so many youth pastors that receive their source of “being a youth pastor” and “connecting with your youth group” from books and pastors. Though I do not mind a little bit of secondary education I do mind that some youth pastors go straight to a pastors “teaching” and their new Christian theology book rather than the Bible. The love Psalm 25 and I think that is one of the perfect chapters in the bible for the youth pastor. Youth pastors remember we are the creation not the creator; get your source for your teaching from the Bible. When a problem arises don’t go straight to a pastor first, consult your Lord and Savior. He should be FIRST in every aspect of your life because a youth pastor, your pastor and not even myself knows all the ways of God. So who would you consult to know what is unknown to the creation? Not the creation but the creator.
2. Relationship, Relationship, Relationship!
Having a relationship with your youth group is crucial in really connecting with each and every child. If one child-yes, I mean one- child feels disconnected and lonely in the youth group, the group as a whole will be dysfunctional. This step is really quite difficult for a larger youth group of 50+ students and the Lord has revealed to me that it is all about effort that really brings a youth group together. There’s nothing wrong with having more than one head youth pastor. This is so one head youth pastor does not become overwhelmed with the amount of youth in the church.
Youth pastors please realize that not all of your students come from the same cultural background as yourself. Try your best to be relatable to all of your students. Just because you can relate to some easier than others does not mean you cannot relate to them all. Will is what a teen appreciates. Youth pastors, a relationship with your students is not the typical
“Hi how are you? How is school? You’re good? Okay.”
That is so generic and that’s pretty much the conversation I have with cousins I haven’t seen in five years. That’s not a relationship. Youth pastors, just because you’re a youth pastor that DOES NOT automatically mean that you have a “good” relationship with your students. Need an example? Here’s a scenario. There’s one youth student who you only communicate with during group meetings (every youth pastor has one). You do not call, text nor Facebook this student but you noticed that a family member of this student is not doing very well and has talked about it. So you decide to ask this student and not the family member. To the youth student this is rude and, dare I say it, a bit nosey. You do not communicate with this student on any other day about anything but when a problem arises you ask this student about another person or about the situation. Would you like to be the student in this situation? It’s easy for a youth pastor to not take in consideration the feelings of their youth student but youth pastors remember, without a proper relationship there is no way you can personally lead someone to Christ.
3. Have student leaders and choose them wisely.
I can’t stress this enough. I have been in so much clubs and organizations that used the election method rather than the selection method. In more common terms, the popularity contest against the credentials. Youth pastors please DO NOT choice your student leaders on whom youth students like more. Quite frankly that is silly, it’s like letting a three year old choose whether it’ll have ice cream or and well balanced meal for dinner. The Bible clearly gives us the qualifications of a leader in the church (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1; 1 Peter 5:2-4). No leader is perfect and yes their far from it but remember all leaders are held at a higher standard then everyone else. Have student leaders who TEACH and LIVE the word. Not student leaders who are seen as adult versions of the youth students. This will anger some youth pastors but I do not write for your feelings I am a representative of God. Just because a former youth student is “of age” does not qualify them as student leaders.
Youth pastors, I am testing you to look at yourself. The election method otherwise known as the “popularity contest” does take place in the heart of youth pastors. It does and I know it does, we all have our favorites. Youth pastors just because you like a student DOES NOT qualify them to be a student leader. Sometimes the student you personally do not care for are the ones that are the best fit to lead the youth to Christ. Why? Well, there’s many reasons, these students can challenge you as a youth pastor; you can also envy this students ability to reach those you cannot. We are all human but please youth pastors DO NOT let your resentment of a student spiritually blind you from seeing the work of God.
4. Realize your faults and be accountable for them.
We all have faults! Please realize that you are not perfect and if you do, realize that it is not an excuse. We are all accountable for the things we think, say and do. Pray. Let Christ help you with your faults, we will never be perfect but we can all be saved.
5. Listen to your students!
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.-1 Timothy 4:12
Do you believe that God can use anyone to reach his people? Let me write that again, do you BELIEVE that God can use anyone to reach his people? Yes, youth pastors will say it but do they really believe it? Youth pastors, do you see your students as still babies when it comes to the word? Do you believe that some things in the Bible your student can’t handle? Do you believe that God will show YOU how to conduct your students? If you said yes to all or some of these questions, let me personally tell you through the power and consent of my heavenly father, you are a fool. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31. If you still believe your students are baby’s in the word, then you are not teaching them the word. If you believe that your students cannot handle a book or chapter in the bible then you are prohibiting them from spiritually growing and should really think of letting someone else teach them the word. If you think that God will and can only tell you about how you should conduct your youth group then you do not know the heavenly father and his son Jesus Christ. Pride is a horrible thing. Read Proverbs 16:18-19. As Christian leaders we have to constantly loose ourselves every day. Every day we have to remind ourselves that it is NOT under our own power that we can accomplish anything in life but by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Youth pastors, let me be frank because this is happing all over the world. Chruches are losing focus on actually teaching there students. Yes, doing annual trips to third world countries and Christian convention are nice. As a former youth student I LOVED them but sadly, I learned more from these trips then my actual pastors in the church. Please answer these questions. It will let you know if you are actually teaching and what your should do.
Are you students showing any gain? Does your student remember what was taught three weeks ago in the sermon? Who is teaching your students?
Let me help you answer these questions. As a student I hate standardized testing but as a teacher these tests help show whether my students gained knowledge. Use this method in answering your question. Youth pastors, ask your students what was taught about in a sermon you taught in previous weeks. Remember, repetition and using things in life helps us remember what the Bible actually says. Who is teaching your students? Aren’t YOU the youth pastor? Do not let a video or program teach your students and then you just clarify on what is said. If that method worked for everyone the teachers in schools would be out of work and replaced with a machines. Be the YOUTH PASTOR!
Consult the Lord if you are having problems in your youth group or with yourself. God always answer a heart that is focused on him. You have visions for your youth group, grow to them and do anything possible to make those things happen. For some, it’s letting someone else teach the youth group, for others it’s totally changing the way you do things but there’s always something that needs fixing and there’s always something and someone to fix it.
By Lakendra Burgess