Hard to come up with just 10 things to include in finding a youth or student pastor candidate. But here’s 10 that come to mind.
- Biblical standards is a good place to start – must follow without question the ground rules in I Timothy 3 & Titus 1. (I realize this covers a lot, but I can’t say it better than Scripture does!)
- Along these lines – same commitments to Biblical standards & doctrines
- Follows the philosophy of the church – Typically youth pastors fall into a few camps: Program Driven, Family/Discipleship Driven
- There needs to be and understanding of the philosophy of the candidate. This will help with finding a right match.
- For me, a high value in relational and Biblical discipleship is paramount in youth ministry.
- This means – willingness and desire/passion to disciple young people and also families/parents.
- Understanding of family ministry – involvement, passion for equipping, and desire to consistently communicate with parents. Someone that sees parents as someone on their team, not one they try to just keep happy.
- Inter-generational – willingness to involve teens in service in the church, encourage engagement in adult relationships, and provide opportunities for teens to serve and worship alongside adults and kids. Basically provided a bridge between generations.
- Relationship-oriented – this generation is less about knowledge, and more about relationship. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” (Maxwell)
- Also able to work well with others on staff & develop/maintain a positive relationship with youth leaders/children workers.
- Organized – Can’t tell you how important this is. Leadership loves it. Parents love it. And teens benefit from it.
- Effective communicator – not only in formal settings like teaching/training/meetings. But also have the ability to communicate clearly in informal settings like one-on-one with teens, weekly staff meetings, and secular arenas (like YMCA or bowling alley for example in planning events)
- Driven – there needs to be drive – both spiritually and practically. Always looking for ways to improve the spiritual & physical environment of the youth ministry.
- CALLED to ministry – love for teens is a requirement, but a call to ministry is a step above that.