A little different than my usual posts but this is a follow-up to Friday's What I Wish Every Senior Pastor Knew About Youth Ministry. In case you did not read Friday's post...I have been both a Senior Pastor and a Youth Minister and I am currently neither so I can speak what is on my heart about these topics.
I used the Top Ten format on Friday so I will follow the same convention today.
1. Most Senior Pastors love youth and know they need to be ministered to, therefore you have a job/ministry.
2. Senior pastors are responsible for so much and youth ministry is a small part of the whole...an important part but a small part.
3. Senior pastors do not like the extra attention (read criticism) that often comes as a result of the youth minister's mistakes/errors in judgment. Disgruntled parents are always a bad sign.
4. Senior pastors often feel youth ministry is fun and games but seldom have the time to spend to see what really is going on. Fill him in on the real ministry that is going on not just numbers.
5. Senior pastors often have an idea of how they want youth ministry done...if you two are not on the same page, you will likely not be there very long. (I learned a lesson about this one first hand, can we say fired?)
6. Between sermon prep, hospital visitation, counseling, funerals, weddings, preaching, teaching, and other general pastoral duties, it is no wonder many youth ministers feel out of the Senior pastor's loop. Your Senior pastor cannot do it alone...he needs your help.
7. Senior pastors do not have to demand your respect for his authority if you give it to him willingly. Respect the chain of command. Kids learn to respect (or disrespect) the position of Senior pastor from what you say and do.
8. Senior pastors are real guys with real problems and not a one of us is perfect. Its just everyone knows when we make mistakes. Life in a fishbowl is difficult. I need you to pray for me.
9. Many Senior pastors (not me, ever, lol) may be control freaks...ease their concerns by keeping them informed regularly. Talk, email, communicate. It is that important. Planning and organization go a long way toward easing the control freak's mind.
10. A church is one body...the whole body of Christ...many different parts but working together for one purpose...it should never end up in a us vs. them scenario. The youth minister's relationship with the senior pastor can and does affect the whole church. Make it a priority.
I am sure if you are reading this, you have other things I have not included. I have a personal bias in that as Senior pastor I was involved with the youth whenever I could be. I spent time with the children's ministry doing dramas, skits and puppets. That is where my heart is. I may have just been a Hybrid Senior Pastor but I believed it was important to relate to all segments of my church. Also, the churches where I pastored were small and I was bivocational on top of all of that. I am sure life is different in the large-sized to mega church models.
God bless you today,