Talking with Michael, our other youth pastor today. We were discussing how another youth ministry we respect in our area runs off of a student leadership team. Most of the youth pastors time and energy goes into the kids on this team. About 35% of his ministry is currently on this team. High commitment, multiple meetings, service expectations, reading, journaling, the whole nine yards.
I struggle to find the balance between calling kids to a higher level of commitment, and adding to their unhealthy schedules. I don’t feel prayer, Bible study, and service are the problems. It’s the extra meetings it takes to keep students motivated. We can say they shouldn’t need these meetings, but they are developmentally not at a stage where they can do self-motivation yet. They need loving, regular accountability. Hence the need for meetings.
We discussed how we need to help parents change THEIR values so that the students will have support at home to do these things, even in the face of dropping other events. That’s the tough sell. As I’m aging as a youth pastor, I can tell I’m going to need to spend more time mentoring parents. Sigh. I’ve turned down some beautiful opportunities to be an adult pastor, so I could stay in youth ministry. Only to find that youth ministry is going to require me to pastor adults. God is too funny that way.
Anyway, any thoughts from you guys who drop by here from time to time? Anything you’re finding effective, or ineffective in these areas?