What I Have Learned Being a Youth Pastor

I have served as the youth minister at two different smaller membership churches. I have seen many students grow deeper in their love for Jesus and His church, which has been my greatest joy. With that said, there were three important lessons that I had to learn.

  1. Youth ministry is hard. Youth ministry is hard because it is a time commitment. After a long day of work in the office most people go home and relax for the rest of the evening, not youth pastors. Students go to school all day so most ministry takes place in the evenings. In my youth ministry, my wife or I have ministry responsibilities in the evenings four day a week and often on the weekends. Youth ministry is also hard because students will let you down. You will labor in teaching them the Bible only to realize that they won’t open their Bible again until they are at church next time. You will discover that often they will pick secular activities over godly activities. You will discover that they will date people who are not leading them closer to Jesus. We have discovered that the time commitment is demanding and that it is extremely difficult to see students not follow Jesus but we keep going because…
  2. Youth ministry is a calling. The reason we keep going is because youth ministry is our calling. God has entrusted us to care for the students at our church. Whether your youth ministry has 2, 22, or 222, the calling to care for these students is a high calling. There have been times early in my youth ministry where I only had two students come to church. On that night, we sang and taught as if 200 were there because…
  3. Youth ministry is worth it! I will never be able to explain the joy that fills my heart when I see a student come to the Lord for the first time. I will never be able to explain the reaction a student has when they attend their first mission trip and realize it is not about them. I will never be able to explain the joy that a student expresses when they stand in front of their peers and tell them what Jesus has done in their life. I will never be able to explain the feelings you get when a student calls you crying because they realize that their best friend at school does not know Jesus. It is in those moments that you realize that all of your time, energy, and dedication was worth it!

So, youth pastor, do not give up. Even when you feel as if you are failing, your work is worth the effort. Yes, it will be hard, but ultimately it will be so worth it.

written by Patrick Weaver

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