I recently read an article in which a Sociologist penned that youth pastors "need the kind of job description that allows them to spend lots of time with teenagers-there is absolutely no substitute for spending time with youth and sticking to it for a long time." I agree and disagree with this notion and am choosing to "blog it" to further explain through a series of I BELIEVES.
· Youth leaders need job descriptions that give them direction and help them understand the expectations of their position. I don't believe they need more "free-time" to spend time with students, but intentionally planned and scheduled time.
· There are better uses of a youth leaders job than just spending time with students, keep reading before you jump to conclusions. I believe in ministry through multiplication... investing in adult leaders, which multiplies our ability to connect, multiplies our effectiveness, multiplies our gifts and multiplies our Kingdom building efforts. Spending quality time developing, training and encouraging leaders is one of the best investments we can make. Great resource: Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries.
· Spending time with students and families is one of the greatest benefits of being a Youth leader. However, we shouldn't just spend time with students and families to meet a quota. We need to be students of students, asking questions that give us insight into their world and life. Through these interactions we will better understand how to plan, equip and communicate to students and families.
· That youth leaders need "personal and family" times built into their job descriptions. Not to mandate a time of day to spend with their family or on personal development, but to have high accountability in this area. Many youth leaders ignore their own soul and family for the sake of the ministry. Most do this with the best intentions of trying to build the Kingdom; some do it because their job may be at stake if they don't produce the right numbers or office hours. BOTH are wrong and lead to burnout and in many situations the departure of good leaders. Family and personal time are imperative to longevity and health.
I BELIEVE in youth ministry and the local church. I believe that students can lead... now. I believe that Jesus provides and that we need to do our part. I believe!