When asked “what do you do?” most youth pastors can identify some major areas of his or her week (church meetings, youth group and message prep). Obviously there are other small areas that require more thought. However, many are forgetting some very basic but BIG areas. My hope is that this post will serve as a simple reminder.
Some things you may have forgotten to put on your schedule (in no particular order)…
Did you forget to encourage (and inform) your team members?
An early-week (short) email to your team (lay leaders) goes a long way. Share the wins from the weekend, the schedule for the next program event and give praise for the role your leaders play!
Did you forget to “read your Bible and pray?”
This may seem like a “duh” category, unfortunately I have to list it. I am discovering an increasing number of youth leaders who are only spending time in the Word to prep a message and MANY admit to not really spending any time in the Word itself, most just glance at the verses provided by curriculum. In addition, few of us are scheduling time to just listen to God and respond in prayer.
Did you forget to program as if someone new could be coming?
Take a minute to think about your Sunday School, youth group and small group settings from the perspective of the new kid. Would a new person know where to go upon arrival? Would he/she be greeted? Are people even trained in how to greet? Would you even be able to capture the new persons information so that proper follow-up can be done? Believe it or not, these things take time.
Did you forget to set the example in the areas of application that matter to you the most?
If I were to sum up my youth pastor-passion it would be to have students fall deeply in love with Christ, showing/sharing that love with the lost and propelling their Christian friends. But, I can only lead students/staff as far as I am able to go myself. Part of my weekly rhythm needs to include time prioritizing my own (peer, my age range) time with the unchurched and personal time with Jesus.
Did you forget to give others permission to develop and exercise their gifts?
Calling it as I see it: too many youth pastors spend too much time doing their own thing (agenda/direction for the ministry) rather than taking the time to equip and empower others to do the better thing. Even though it takes time, schedule times to collaborate (with students, staff and parents) and make space for others to use and develop those gifts!
Do these five things and you’ll see immediate results and long-term fruit!
What else would you say are areas we may be forgetting to schedule?