Last week, I was having a conversation with a fellow Youth Pastor and he said something that made me laugh and cringe at the same time. It’s an experience that every Youth Pastor has faced at some point, but the times when a church member hears about one thing going on for teens within 100 miles and approaches you with it, almost as a mandate.
“My Sister’s Church is having a lock-in this Friday and they are having someone come in and talk to the teens about not having sex. You should really go, it’s only 4 hours away.” Or “Pastor said that you we’re praying about the teens doing a mission trip, my garage needs cleaning if they want to do that for me.”
Great ideas, sometimes, but the reality of it is that even the greatest idea’s are worthless if they don’t fit into or accomplish plans. I spent the entire spring semester this past school year frustrated that a local para-church ministry and our student ministry couldn’t partner together because I wouldn’t get told about their events until days before they occurred. After a while, it just seemed easier to assume that our conversations weren’t going to amount to much partnership, because their was no planning.
Inevitably, in both cases, it leads to frustration, that either we blew off the suggestion, forgot about it and are thus unorganized, or just don’t care enough about the other person or ministry to do anything about it.
As Youth Pastor’s, we privately in our youth ministry circles like to laugh and complain about these types of situations. But when it comes to our positions in the church, we often times are just as guilty.
How many times have I had a great thought for something for the church, shared it, and been frustrated when nothing happens. Has that ever happened to you?
And this is why I cringed during the conversation last week, because I realized that oftentimes, I do to my leadership what others do to me: come to him with an idea that is out of the blue and is up to him to plan. There’s no room for Youth Pastors to be frustrated that our ideas aren’t heard when this is how we often present them.
So the short end of it is simply this: If you want to have your ideas actually heard, plan them out. Show your Leadership the need, how this idea helps solve that need, and your steps that you can and are ready to take to put this idea into practice, hand it off to someone else, or get others behind it. Show him that you aren’t just giving him work in the form of a creative idea, and you’re much more likely to Lead Up.
Almost two years ago, Ben felt a calling to start a new website for Youth Pastors, and after talking with his Brother about it for a few months, they launched YouthMin.org. Ben Runs and Manages YouthMin.org like it's a full time job, and loves connecting with Youth Pastors via the Facebook Community, but he is still a Full-Time Youth Pastor at Trinity Evangelical Church in North Reading, MA. He and his wife, Sarah, met while attending Liberty University, and have one Son together, commonly known as BEAR.