Monthly Archives: March 2009

Should a Youth Pastor be Ordained?

Good question.  Should an assistant pastor, student pastor, youth pastor…or whatever title you have at your church….be ordained?  Depends on how serious you take that position – Do you view the youth pastor as a less important member of the staff?  Is he the junior to the senior pastor?  Or maybe your thoughts are that the youth pastor position is a stepping stone to the senior pastor position.

If you are a youth pastor or youth leader, these questions probably make you cringe, angry, or smirk.  You know the battles you face as a youth pastor…you know that there needs to be more people to battle in the trenches for the hearts and souls of these young people that are turning their back on the church at an alarming rate.

So my answer…YES.  I do think a youth pastor needs to be ordained.  I do believe a youth pastor needs to be taken seriously, utilized in church vision, and devoted to his craft.  We need more student ministers that are commited to youth ministry…what better way to show your commitment than to be ordained.  It was not an easy process, but two weeks ago I made that commitment and was ordained.  Will you be next?

Youth/Student Ministry Book Reviews

Sustainable Youth Ministry  by Mark DeVries

Imagine the game “Who Wants to Be a Youth Worker?”, where you could phone a friend or use a lifeline whenever you don’t know the answers in your ministry.  Well, ministry isn’t a game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a lifeline.  Sustainable Youth Ministry is that lifeline.  Mark DeVries provides numerous, practical principles to implement in your ministry to produce a lasting impact on young people for Christ.  For too many years, youth ministry has been built on sand.  And when the rough waters come, churches are satisfied to let things wash away, only to have to rebuild again.  It is time for youth ministries to take the time to build a solid foundation that will have a lasting impact…Sustainable Youth Ministry will you reach that goal.

Use this book to fight the trend of youth ministers only lasting 1.5 to 3 years in the field.  Let’s bring longevity back into student ministry.  In a ministry that is failing, when you look at dropout rates of young adults, take some advice from a man that has been in the trenches for many years. 

reTHINK:  Decide For Yourself, Is Student Ministry Working?  by Steve Wright

Student ministry is facing an epidemic called “graduating from God”.  Young people are graduating from high school and simply not coming back to church.  When you look at the statistics of 60-80% of young people leaving the church, you can’t ignore that there is a major problem with student ministry today.  The problem is IT ISN’T WORKING!

So, Steve Wright does what many youth leaders and pastors are afraid to do, CHANGE THE MODEL.  Now, what is nice is that this isn’t some new, hip relevant way of doing things that dumbs down the gospel to a curriculum that utilizes American Idol examples and downloads for you iPOD.  On the contrary, Wright is able to get us back to the basics and the foundation of God’s Word.  Secondly, he is able to produce a model that supports the family and opposes a drop-off babysitting service model.  This intergenerational ministry approach is a must read for all student ministries, and those without the ministries as well.