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Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Monergist, Aug 1, 2003.
How does your youth pastor rate?
I'm interested in seeing if we value our kids as much as we say we do. Do they get first class teaching--or something less?
I am a youth pastor at a church (more specifically the middle school minister). I have done student ministry for about three years. I graduated from Samford University and have a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Counseling, along with a year of Ph.D. work in the field. I will be starting seminary in the fall. I get paid considerably less than the other ministerial staff, despite having similar reponsibilities to several other ministers. I have about 70 active students that I have primary responsibility to lead, with around 120 on roll. According to the students and the parents of the students, I am very good at what I do, although I am quick to point out that God is the one who is doing this - he's just chosen to use me in this manner. (I've just got great students!)
(Oh, and I believe that they receive first-class teaching. I take my responsibility very seriously! One of my most recent messages - to middle schoolers, no less - involved understanding the difference between justification and sanctification.)
Finally! A poll on BB where I'm in the majority! - I'm voter #3 and so far am in the majority because our youth pastor has no formal training, which is less than other pastor(s), has 2-5 years' experience, and is paid less.
This pole assumes that one has a youth pastor and that youth pastors are a viable office in the church. I, for one, think that the "youth ministry" is one of the greatest - if not the greatest - curse on the churches in recent decades.
Here's the info on OUR Youth Minister. We use the term Student Minister tho because we have so very many college kids too.
I answered 'same as' on number 4 but actually he's paid a lesser amount than the senior pastor but about the same as our Minister of Education/ Administration and our Minister of Music. Our Hispanic Minister makes a lot less but he's mainly a 'missionary' type minister who teaches 2 hours a week while the others are all full time.
Minister to Youth
Jon Price joined the staff at First Baptist on June 15, 2003. He and his wife, April, have two children and moved here from Aledo, Texas where he served as the Minister to Youth at the First Baptist Church of Aledo since 1996. Jon began working with youth in Anna Maria, Florida when he was 18 and has also served as Minister to Youth in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama. Jon graduated from Samford University in Birmingham with a B.A. in Religion. He is also a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX with a Master of Divinity Degree.
Can't let that one stand, Mark, without your explanation for such a statement.
Don't you think that a church can have an elder for ruling, an elder for preaching/teaching, an elder for youth, an elder for . . . ?
Our Church does not have a Youth Pastor. But we have Youth Teachers. But that does not mean our church thinks Youth Pastors are a curse. We are a small church compared to most, but a large church compared to others.
So I think the size of the church has to do a lot with need for a Youth Pastor.
Dr. Bob, I wondered why Mark is so vehement too but was afraid to ask!
College is not in session but we still had at least 40 youth in our first 3 rows today with others spread out in the congregation. There's always 60-70 for youth Bible Study on Wednesday night. That's more than some churches have on Sunday morning. We MUST reach the youth before they are so deep into the world that they waste years and years without Jesus!
I am wondering why you think it is such a curse. The majority of people who profess Christ do so before they graduate. There are a myriad of social, spiritual, physical, emotional, and physical changes that take place from the age of 11 to 18. I would want my child to have a person whose responsibility it was to teach and train him or her at church, someone who understoof the culture that he or she was going in, and someone who would be there to provide good Godly leadership. (Of course, I would not think of shirking my responsibility one bit!)
The only problem that I may have with youth pastors is those who either try to be too much of a buddy or try too much NOT to be a friend. The role is a precarious one, but God can do (and has done) some amazing things through student ministers. To call them a curse is just asinine.
Can't let that one stand, Mark, without your explanation for such a statement.
Don't you think that a church can have an elder for ruling, an elder for preaching/teaching, an elder for youth, an elder for . . . ? </font>[/QUOTE]Dr. Bob,
The Bible knows only elders, all of whom are teaching/ruling elders. If an elder was simply given the responsibility of teaching the young people in the church that would be fine.
But that is not what the "youth ministry" is all about. The youth ministry is about entertaining young people with the objective of keeping them in the church. This practice has turned many churches into entertainment centers. It has been going on long enough now that there is a whole generation of folks who think this is what church is all about.
Churches that don't involve themselves in this sort of "ministry" are seen as somehow backwards or unconcerned about young people. The church I pastor has lost several families to the big Southern Baptist church in our town for this very reason.
There are other problems that arise out of the "youth ministry" craze, but I really don't have time right now to deal with the issue fairly. Later this week I'll try to give you some more thoughts on the matter.
I honestly believe that you have been so jaded by several different things that you can't even see straight. Youth ministry is about reaching students for Christ, helping them grow in the faith, so that when they graduate, they will be able to make an impact on their world. That is what I do. That is what all the youth ministers that I know who are called by God are doing as well.
my 11 year old daughter and i visited an certain IFB church once. the main preaching service was good, as was the sunday school. so the next week i let my daughter go to "junior church" by herself. the kids spent the better part of an hour and a half screaming and playing games like "grab the pickle" with a nice little 5 minute sermonette tacked onto the end.
never, never again.
youth should not be separated off from adults to form their own "culture". it's a case of the blind leading the blind and lord knows we've got plenty of ditches!
Thanks, Mark, for giving a little insight into what your thinking is! Appreciate it.
It's too late. Youth already have their own culture. The question becomes: What is the best way to provide ministry to them? I don't think that "grabbing" any kind of pickle is conducive to ministry, however, there are many times when a short fun game can lead to interest in the message (which should also be more than 5 minutes long, I think.) There are those who say that students can only keep attention for about 15 minutes. What I have found, though, is that if the message is relevant to their life, I can speak for 30 or 40 minutes without their eyes glazing over.
Im still young enough to remember my youth days, and want to go back to the good parts
but Im old enough to know Id have to pay with the bad parts too
Actually Mark - a seperate youth program - is not only a good thing it is highly desirable - although the makeup of it is far more important - I think we'd might actually agree on some of them too...
We never did pass the pickle ;( Oh well, we got to do other games like Bible crosswords, colouring, and drawing verses, memorization competitions, singing - well I so miss the group in that - basically it was my sole interaction with people my age - as I wasnt cool. The fact that we would have at least one or two social events a month, that acted as grasping tentacles, which sucked people into our more religiousical events - they were are surprisingingly carefully staged - so as to not smack people over the head with our at the time - extremely conservative church, and get them disillusioned - and we took every opportunity to go to mass events that our leaders thought would introduce us to Christian values, and fellow believers. I almost want to become a youth leader, so that I can enjoy that part of life again - except that I would have to gain a female counterpart - and I doubt that's gonna happen anytime soon.
Gracious Timothy! A youth minister is an adult who works with high school and college aged young people.
Junior church .... in the churches I'VE been in, is for the little ones who have trouble sitting still for 2 hours. I help with Children's church on a rotating basis. We have play time first on our playground and then juice and some snacks. THEN we have singing, prayer and praises time and then a sermon geared for their ages. Our C/C is for ages 4-8. The other kids are expected to attend 'big' church. Remember now, that our church lasts right at 2 hours and the kids have generally already been in S/S for an hour. 9:45-12:45 is average!
I love teaching itty bitty children, but getting quality teaching for them (along with all of the older children), from my experience, reflects on the value of education/level of education of the church leaders.
If your leaders quit school in the elemntary school, I find it hard to advocate a thorough christian education program because they advocate that "God will show them what they ultimately need to know".
On a similar note, I offer my children a high quality education in my middle school member orientation class. We talk about the chunky things like justification, repentance & faith, the scriptures, sanctification, the holy spirit, and fall of man/way of salvation.
As a member of a youth ministry, I find it difficult at times because so many of my leaders know so little about these basic concepts. So they often wonder why I put so much emphasis on these topics.
i have no idea what they actually called it. it was what they had for a girl her age, 11 years old. there were older kids there too. from now on she'll be sticking by my side where hopefully she can learn something.