Dear Youth Pastor:
I have been praying about maybe becoming a youth pastor. I made a commitment to follow Jesus in junior high, and my youth pastor was a huge support and inspiration to me during some difficult times in high school. I really feel like God is leading me to youth ministry, but I'm not sure how to really know. I'm in my senior year of college and have been offered a part-time youth ministry position at a small church that would start this fall. I'd like to think that I'm ready, but I want to make sure that I'm doing what God wants, not just what I want. How can I know if I'm supposed to become a youth pastor?
Thanks for your help,
Searching in Santa Cruz
I'm glad you asked. Every youth pastor has their story of when and where they started their youth ministry career. Many, like you, weren't completely sure if they were doing the right thing. How do you know if you're really supposed to be a youth pastor? Well, there's no way to really know, but here are a few signs that you're supposed to be a youth pastor:
You are a really popular and cool person. To be a youth pastor, you have to be 100% fun, 100% of the time. It's a well-known fact that God can't use introverts who aren't the life of the party. When you work with teenagers, it's important that you be just as cool as they are. If you've got this part down, you're 90% of the way there.
You play the guitar and know just about everything about popular music. First, there has never been a youth pastor who wasn't good at playing the guitar. For as long as I can remember (it's probably in the Bible somewhere), youth pastors have been required to play the guitar. In addition, you have to like the same music teenagers do, or you won't be able to relate to them. That's why it's not a good idea to have volunteers on your team who are over the age of 25.
You are a very outgoing person who loves messy games and lock-ins. Listen, if you don't like silly games or sleep deprivation, I'm not sure why you even want to be a youth pastor. Youth ministry has to by synonymous with non-stop fun. If you aren't good at keeping teenagers entertained, then you won't be good at youth ministry.
I hope this helps you in your discernment! If you fulfill the requirements I've listed, then you definitely are called to be a youth pastor, and you'll be a very good one to boot.
Dear Youth Pastor is a public service to the good people who read this blog, and letters are published every Thursday. To ask Youth Pastor a question, just email him at DearYouthPastor@hotmail.com.