working with youth pastor

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by abcgrad94, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    How can we encourage our youth pastor to include the teen girls more in youth events? We have a great youth pastor, but most of the youth activities center around things the guys like to do--sports, sports, and more sports. When girls do attend, he just hangs out with the boys and basically ignores the girls. As a result, very few girls will even attend youth functions as well as the boys who are not athletic.

    Often he will drive the van full of teens by himself, while his wife stays home with their young children. We've pointed out the lack of adult supervision and offered to help, but he bristled and insisted he was just fine. He doesn't seem to care or realize that the church is full of other kids besides the athletic jocks.

    The other night we got ready for a youth event, (games and snacks) only to find that meant playing soccer in the 90-degree heat. My dd was in tears when we found out, and we decided not to go. The van left with one girl and a bunch of boys and the youth pastor, which I felt was VERY unwise for a number of reasons.

    How can we work with this man? We've already talked to him and he doesn't want to listen to parental suggestions. The other parents just gave up and their girls don't attend, but that's not what we want for our girls.
     
  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Tell him to do more with the girls but give hims some clear ideas.

    One adult with kids should be a no no. That is a poor practice and a huge liability. I doubt your insurance would be glad to hear that is going on.



    I am interested to know what his response was. The church needs to have a clear set of job descriptions.
     
  3. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    I think that's part of the problem. He has too much free reign, so he just does what he likes, and that happens to be sports. He's great with the unchurched "bus" kids (boys) and that is much of his focus.

    How do we get him to listen to our suggestions (like having more than one adult on the van, including the girls, etc?) Should we go over his head to the pastor? I hate to do that. . .and we don't want to come across as critical. My husband was a youth pastor once, and we know it's hard, but at the same time there needs to be some changes.
     
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    I would, if this were a problem in my church I would want to know. His practices are bad and can put the church in a bad place. Since he will not listen you may need too.
     
    #4 Revmitchell, Jul 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2014
  5. exscentric

    exscentric
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    I assume your church has at least two doors, kick him out the nearest one if he is not going to listen to the church, they brought him to the position.
     
  6. SaggyWoman

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    Have regular talks with him and document. If change doesn't come, ask him to step down.
     
  7. SaggyWoman

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    May be even a youth committee around him will help, whether he wants one or not. Sounds like he needs one for guidance and maturing.
     
  8. 12strings

    12strings
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    I am a youth pastor, and this doesn't sound good at all (judging only from your description, of course).

    #1, You should look into your church vehicle insurance regarding transportation of minors. You may very well find that they require a 2nd adult chaperone when transporting minors. If so, make sure that policy is instituted immediately.

    #2, If the church's idea of a "Great" youth pastor is one that attracts non-churched jock boys to play sports...they may need a different job description. Perhaps just call him "director of boys outreach" instead of "youth pastor."

    #3, If a youth pastor thinks he doesn't need parental help and chaperons, He's an idiot. (hey, I said "IF") :)

    #4, If a youth pastor (or any pastor) is unwilling or unable to humbly receive suggestions and constructive criticism and consider that it might have some merit, he should not be a pastor.

    #5, Not enough information to know for sure, but depending how often he hangs out with the "boys", I might be a bit concerned if this young man is spending enough time also pouring his life into his wife and kids. (but that's probably for another conversation).


    HOWEVER: I realize I have been blunt in these points, and I would definitely speak to the other pastor(s) about your concerns, if you are getting nowhere with the youth pastor. However, make sure that YOU are not jumping to conclusions, or representing things unfairly, The points I gave are only "if"s... It may be that you, other parents and the pastor can help this young man grow in his role and his understanding and his humility to work with parents. If he is simply young an immature, but truly loves Christ, he may just be simply doing what he knows (sports, apparently) and needs to learn to "know" some other things. Prodding from the top may be what gets him moving that direction.

    FOR IMMEDIATE INCLUSION OF GIRLS: Perhaps a good place to start is for you, or perhaps another parent who has a good house/yard setting...could simply invite the church youth over for a cookout. Invite the youth pastor too, and he may see that a more inclusive event is a good thing. Have a few group games planned, along with some card or board games lying around. (The boys may pick up a football and start throwing it...that's ok). Home-hosted cookouts/pizza parties, etc...have been some of the best youth event's we've had in growing fellowship among the teens and their parents.

    You don't have to put it out as a competing "youth event"...simply say you've been wanting to have the teens over to your house.

    Our church probably has almost 30 youth (6-12 graders), and about 18-20 are boys, a lot of them sports-involved, and so we don't want to exclude them, but nearly all of our youth events are things that everyone can participate in.
    (Sno-Tubing, putt-putt, Serving at Salvation army & the local food pantry, cookouts at parent's houses, indoor trampoline park, Fall Costume party at a host home, Christmas party at a host home, pool party at a host home, Overnight campout at a host home, Overnight lock-in at a local boys & girls club...with several adult chaperons, of course) ...anytime we go to a home, though, It's a good time that allows youth interaction in a safe environment, whether we decide to have a devotional time or not.

    The outreach comes mostly from parents whose kids are doing sports or other activities who meet the parents of their kids' unchurched friends and gradually get to know them and invite them to their homes or to youth events. To be honest we don't have a lot of outreach targeted only to teenagers, but we feel this model is sustainable and will yield fruit, as it already has...and when a new teen begins to come, it is likely that his parents will also come, and they already have a family in the church that they have a relationship with that was forged on the sidelines of football practice.

    Wow, that was long...hope it's helpful.
     
  9. Jkdbuck76

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    His driving kids alone MUST COME TO A STOP NOW! It must never happen again. He needs to have an adult woman with him (not his wife, not a relative). I'm shocked that your church lets this happen. Your leadership has its head in the sand! It is not a matter of IF so much as a matter of WHEN.
     
  10. annsni

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    I agree that there are huge red flags here. Honestly our youth staff is fantastic and very much needed according to our youth pastor! This gentleman has been spoken to so now it is time for multiple parents to approach him regarding (which it sounds like has happened already) so it's time to speak to the senior pastor.

    However, I think it would be a good time to have a few women come up with plans for the girls - even outside of "youth group". Plan a Bible study, a time to do some cooking with them for the shut-ins, a few missions projects and things like that. Let them know that they are important in ministry and important in the life of the church. You do NOT want to lose them!
     

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