Wisdom for Rookie Youth Pastors: Personal Development

February 17, 2014     Josh Fuentes    

The old saying, “You can only lead where you’ve been” is true.

Us youth pastors were once teenagers. We’ve gone through the fires of puberty and  have come out as stable human beings. Since we know what its like to be a teenager, we have the ability to help our students steer the waters of uncertainty. Yet, because we can lead our students where we’ve been, we are faced with the temptation to not grow. We know what to do, so there’s no need to improve upon it.

I’ll be honest, if you’re not doing something to personally develop yourself as a believer in Jesus Christ, you’re failing in your calling. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to be students for the rest of our lives. Now, how that looks like is up to you, but I’ve learned that if you want to truly grow, you need to be intentional about how you do it.

Here are three intentional ways you can develop yourself as a disciple of Jesus Christ throughout the year:

Daily

Reading the Bible, good Christian literature, blogs, listening to podcasts, sharing the Gospel, and praying are all things you can do on a daily basis to grow as a disciple. The wealth of information that is out there is mind-blowing, and there is no excuse not to be learning something new. Moreover, don’t just stay in the world of youth ministry when it comes to blogs, books, and podcasts. Be willing to dive into different waters, and even be willing to read stuff you don’t agree with.

Quarterly

Go on a mission trip and attend various conferences. I know many of us already go on mission trips because we take our students on them, but have you ever gone on one that isn’t about students? If you haven’t you need to, because its a world of difference and can be a game changer in your walk with Christ.

Furthermore, plan to attend a conference that is more than one day. Go to a conference that focuses on youth ministry, and then attend one that has nothing to do with youth ministry. Getting out of your comfort zone is key to personal development.

Annually

Once a year, go on a retreat. This can be one where you go by yourself, or you can do it with your spouse. We all need a time where we can stop and let God pour into us. We pour into others all year long, so the least we can do for ourselves is to take time away to allow God to refuel our tanks. If you’re not sure about where to go for a retreat, LeaderTreks offers them for youth workers. If you would like to have a retreat with your spouse, check out Weekend to Remember put on by Family Life. They offer a free registration for full-time ministers and their spouses. All you have to do is contact them.

In the end, I know this list may sound exhaustive, but the idea here is to jog your brain on how you can start growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Life always manages to get in the way, and that’s why it is important to be intentional about what you are doing to grow. Also, I didn’t mention it, but if you really want to do something that will stretch your faith and you can participate in every singe day, consider attending school. Speaking from experience, its like attending a never ending conference.

What are some other ways a minister can develop as a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Is there anything on the list you think is asking too much, or too little?

Categories: blog, Coaching, FeaturedSlider, Youth Pastor Spiritual Life
Comments

11 thoughts on “Wisdom for Rookie Youth Pastors: Personal Development”

  1. Alyce Wason

    Great post. “if you’re not doing something to personally develop yourself as a believer in Jesus Christ, you’re failing in your calling”
    Harsh! But I needed that kick. Growth in me has to come first before the growth in the fruit can happen.

  2. Alyce Wason

    Great post. “if you’re not doing something to personally develop yourself as a believer in Jesus Christ, you’re failing in your calling”
    Harsh! But I needed that kick. Growth in me has to come first before the growth in the fruit can happen.

  3. Tyler Tinsley

    Does anyone know of a good conference for youth pastors that is coming up? Our youth leader team at my church is looking at going to one but do not know which one. Thanks for any suggestions! Great post as well!

    1. Joshua Fuentes

      Hey Tyler, it may be late, but the Simply Youth Ministry Conference is right around the corner. There’s also the Orange Conference, D6 Conference, and National Youth Workers Convention. These are all major conferences that are nationally known. Hope that helps!

      1. Tyler Tinsley

        It did for sure thank you so much! We are going to do The Verge conference in Austin next week and do the Orange Conference as well!

  4. Tyler Tinsley

    Does anyone know of a good conference for youth pastors that is coming up? Our youth leader team at my church is looking at going to one but do not know which one. Thanks for any suggestions! Great post as well!

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