God's Great Expectations of Youth Pastors

Greater Strictness Youth Ministry Blog

This verse can sometimes serve as a direct punch to the gut.

The easy way to see this verse is that its talking to those who want to be Teachers but are not called. In Youth Ministry application, it could be seen as talking to people who want to be Youth Pastors yet are not called to be Youth Pastors. It’s sometimes tough to imagine that people would be crazy enough to want to be Youth Pastors without being called to be Youth Pastors by God, but their are people out there living this way.

But like I said, thats the easy way to view this verse.

What God has been laying on my heart as I reflect on this verse is the idea that as Youth Pastors, we are teachers, and we have HUGE expectations on us. Not just the expectations the Parents of the teens we minister to, not just the expectations of the teens we minister to. Greater than the expectations our Sr. Pastors and Elders and other church members have on us as the Pastor of the Youth.

God called you to where you are. I don’t know your current circumstances in ministry, but I look back at where I was a year ago, and even in that dark time, I understand that God called me to that church and that ministry. Just because I am no longer there, doesn’t mean I wasn’t supposed to go there for a season. And the same applies to you. Whether you are in a dark time in your Ministry or things have never been better, God has placed a Call on you, not just to Youth Ministry, but to the specific Ministry you are in right now.

This means that God has great expectations on you, on me, on every one of us who have accepted the call as Youth Pastors.

God has been laying on my heart the severity of this the last few months and weeks and really pushed me hard about something I have been struggling with the last year or so.

Im of the understanding that as Youth Pastors, one of our functions is to Teach the Bible to the students. Yet, in the past, I have taken something that God takes very seriously, and James tells us we will be held accountable for, and placed it in the hands of people I have never met.

There are great curriculums out there, there are great resources available to us as Youth Pastors to make our “jobs” easier. And in the past, I have been a huge fan of these things.

But I have to wonder, did God really call us to the Ministries he has called us to so that we could teach the students what some other Youth Pastor is teaching their students and repackaging for us to buy for $20?

 

Comments

  1. Let me first say that I write my own lessons and sermons. Whether I’m speaking at a retreat, a standalone, or for my usual Wednesday night programming, it’s mine. I may borrow illustrations or something like that, but I mention, “I heard John Doe say it this way,…”.

    But, I think whether or not it’s okay to use those depends on your call. I don’t believe that being called to teach and being called to be a youth pastor are synonymous. Some people, myself included, very much have the “Prophet” call on their life. For me, I feel like any ministry setting God has me in, a primary role will be to teach the Word.

    Other people, though, are called more as “Priests.” They may not have the gift of teaching, but that doesn’t make them less qualified to make disciples of students and to pour into their lives. If spending 20 bucks a month on a pre-packaged sermon series they can tweak for their students allows them to utilize their giftings better, I say go for it. If I were more of a priest, I would think part of my “higher standard” is being a good steward of my time. If I spend 10 hours preparing a devotion because it’s not my gift, it drains me mentally, and I don’t enjoy it, instead of spending 2 hours on it and 8 with other students, I feel like I’d be a poor steward of my time.

    Again, I write my own. It usually takes about 8-12 hours per week of my time, but I feel like my calling and my ministry is to teach and equip, and so that’s what I do. I share your sentiments about it being an easy way out that may not address your students where they are, but I don’t know that I have an issue with it, necessarily.

    • I’d totally agree with your sentiments. In the past I’ve done sort of a similar thing, been in a crunch for a lesson and taken a look to see “What did this guy preach about this” and used it as a sort of springboard.

      I guess part of my problem too is that a lot of the more well known curriculum’s for teaching series that I have seen in the past are rip-offs, because they are just copy and paste of what someone said, and when you buy it you have to put in so much work to try and make it fit in your context that you would have been better off saving the money and “time” and just written your own.

  2. Ben,

    I do agree that we need to take so seriously the call to teach Scripture clearly, and to understand the weight of it. I wish more of us wrestled with these verses. I’ve written and taught for 20+ years, and see this issue as more of a “both/and” instead of an “either/or”. If we’re using curriculum as an excuse to shortcut our prep time, or as a band-aid to cover the fact that we aren’t growing and studying, then yeah, we’re in trouble. If we use curriculum to help us learn from new voices, think of Scripture from different perspectives, and be jump-started by someone else’s creativity, that’s good. I think we could make an argument that the New Testament writers and teachers relied on “curriculum” they had been given growing up to make their points. Curriculum is only a starting point. We still have to spend time reading Scripture, praying, learning, and processing it all on our own in order to be effective.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Jason
    BTW, I’m LU class of 92!
    http://www.jasonchenoweth.com

  3. Ben,

    I do agree that we need to take so seriously the call to teach Scripture clearly, and to understand the weight of it. I wish more of us wrestled with these verses. I’ve written and taught for 20+ years, and see this issue as more of a “both/and” instead of an “either/or”. If we’re using curriculum as an excuse to shortcut our prep time, or as a band-aid to cover the fact that we aren’t growing and studying, then yeah, we’re in trouble. If we use curriculum to help us learn from new voices, think of Scripture from different perspectives, and be jump-started by someone else’s creativity, that’s good. I think we could make an argument that the New Testament writers and teachers relied on “curriculum” they had been given growing up to make their points. Curriculum is only a starting point. We still have to spend time reading Scripture, praying, learning, and processing it all on our own in order to be effective.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Jason
    BTW, I’m LU class of 92!
    http://www.jasonchenoweth.com

  4. I think the issue isn’t necessarily using curriculum or resources, the issue for me is if you use it “straight from the box” and don’t do any prep or adaption. I do a lot of my own stuff, but I have used curriculum from time to time too. It has helped me to get out of the rut of just teaching what is important and familiar to me and teach a wider range of the Bible. And it cuts down the prep time because you don’t have to take time to decide what to teach on. No matter what you use or don’t use, it never should replace your preparation completely.

    • I’d agree, Brian. But one of the problems I’ve seen is that for those that want to cut down on prep time, some curriculums seem like they take so much time “fixing” the lesson for your context, you would have been better off spending the time in study and prayer and writing your own.

  5. I think the issue isn’t necessarily using curriculum or resources, the issue for me is if you use it “straight from the box” and don’t do any prep or adaption. I do a lot of my own stuff, but I have used curriculum from time to time too. It has helped me to get out of the rut of just teaching what is important and familiar to me and teach a wider range of the Bible. And it cuts down the prep time because you don’t have to take time to decide what to teach on. No matter what you use or don’t use, it never should replace your preparation completely.

    • I’d agree, Brian. But one of the problems I’ve seen is that for those that want to cut down on prep time, some curriculums seem like they take so much time “fixing” the lesson for your context, you would have been better off spending the time in study and prayer and writing your own.

  6. I think curriculum’s can be beneficial, especially for ministers who are bi-vocational. However, in my opinion, if you are a full time student minister there really should be no reason why you’re not writing some of your own stuff. My major gripe with curriculum’s is how short they can be. I always found it weird how the publishers always write some thing like “take your kids deeper in their walk with Christ by going through (insert topic here) with 4 xtreme (yes I spelled it like that on purpose) lessons.” I especially hate it when they promote like that when it comes to the life Christ. Can we really expect our students to go deeper in their faith when we are only willing to spend 4 weeks at a time on a particular subject?

  7. I think curriculum’s can be beneficial, especially for ministers who are bi-vocational. However, in my opinion, if you are a full time student minister there really should be no reason why you’re not writing some of your own stuff. My major gripe with curriculum’s is how short they can be. I always found it weird how the publishers always write some thing like “take your kids deeper in their walk with Christ by going through (insert topic here) with 4 xtreme (yes I spelled it like that on purpose) lessons.” I especially hate it when they promote like that when it comes to the life Christ. Can we really expect our students to go deeper in their faith when we are only willing to spend 4 weeks at a time on a particular subject?

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  9. […] From Church News Source: http://youthmin.org/2012/01/gods-great-expectations-of-youth-pastors/ ____________________________________________________ #family movie -THE LAMP- one family's loss shows them how to turn to Faith instead of magic #kidmin Article Continues Below Sponsor Information If you could have anything, what would YOU ask for? Can finding an old oil lamp, complete with a genie, REALLY make your life better? The characters in the movie “The Lamp” learn that there’s a lot more to life than what you THINK you need! Here’s what one viewer had to say about this movie- “The Lamp is an inspiring story about the power of the human spirit to create from within. Trost Moving Pictures does an amazing job of winding the story line through each character. An excellent and inspiring message for viewers of any age. Great message!!! Enjoy!!!”Lynne J Baecker Find out more and pick up a copy of this DVD for your family! CLICK HEREA community for Youth Pastors and youth ministry volunteers seeking the heart of Christ for the next generation. … Greater Strictness Youth Ministry Blog. This verse can sometimes serve as a direct punch to the gut. The easy … […]

  10. Let me first say that I write my own lessons and sermons. Whether I’m speaking at a retreat, a standalone, or for my usual Wednesday night programming, it’s mine. I may borrow illustrations or something like that, but I mention, “I heard John Doe say it this way,…”.

    But, I think whether or not it’s okay to use those depends on your call. I don’t believe that being called to teach and being called to be a youth pastor are synonymous. Some people, myself included, very much have the “Prophet” call on their life. For me, I feel like any ministry setting God has me in, a primary role will be to teach the Word.

    Other people, though, are called more as “Priests.” They may not have the gift of teaching, but that doesn’t make them less qualified to make disciples of students and to pour into their lives. If spending 20 bucks a month on a pre-packaged sermon series they can tweak for their students allows them to utilize their giftings better, I say go for it. If I were more of a priest, I would think part of my “higher standard” is being a good steward of my time. If I spend 10 hours preparing a devotion because it’s not my gift, it drains me mentally, and I don’t enjoy it, instead of spending 2 hours on it and 8 with other students, I feel like I’d be a poor steward of my time.

    Again, I write my own. It usually takes about 8-12 hours per week of my time, but I feel like my calling and my ministry is to teach and equip, and so that’s what I do. I share your sentiments about it being an easy way out that may not address your students where they are, but I don’t know that I have an issue with it, necessarily.

  11. I’d totally agree with your sentiments. In the past I’ve done sort of a similar thing, been in a crunch for a lesson and taken a look to see “What did this guy preach about this” and used it as a sort of springboard.

    I guess part of my problem too is that a lot of the more well known curriculum’s for teaching series that I have seen in the past are rip-offs, because they are just copy and paste of what someone said, and when you buy it you have to put in so much work to try and make it fit in your context that you would have been better off saving the money and “time” and just written your own.

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