Part-time Youth Pastors entering Full-time Youth Ministry

Being a part-time youth pastor is a hard gig. Everyone knows your work load is more than likely full-time, yet you only draw a part-time check. Let’s face it, none of us get into ministry for the money. It’s notoriously a low paying profession. We answer the call because of life change.

So, what do you do when you ask your leadership for a raise to be in full time youth ministry? Take these steps before you ask:

1. Be prepared. Know your numbers. Has the youth ministry grown? By how much? Percentage? How many baptisms? How many attended camp over the previous year? While numbers are not the only defining measure of success, they are important.

2. Be prepared. Know your vision. Can you articulate where you see the youth ministry going? It has to be more than just the normal calendar of events and “Sunday school.” What is your 2 year plan? Top 5 goals for this year? Start with the end in mind. Imagine what a healthy ministry looks like. How will adding you full-time enhance your ability to see that vision come to reality? Make your vision easy. Simple steps will provide results. Overcomplicated goals go nowhere except failure. [See Microsoft vs. Apple]

Ok, so now you’ve asked. How do they respond?

1. “Let’s go!” Congrats!

2. “We can’t afford it right now.” Believe them. Church finances can be extremely complicated and unpredictable. Remember that any salary you would get comes from tithes. Be gracious. Remind them that when the time is right, you’ll be ready.

3. “Let’s wait and see…” Let me clarify this for you: They aren’t totally for sure that you are able to go full-time. Maybe you’re asking too soon or maybe you haven’t shown them you can take the youth ministry beyond.

If your youth group consists of 15 kids, lead like you have 30. If your youth group has 30 kids, lead like you have 60. If you have 100, lead like you have 200.

As much as a church is a ministry, it’s also a business. Your leaders need to be good stewards too.

If you’ve been told #2 or #3, it’s not the end of the journey. God has you in that ministry for a reason. Be patient and lead balls to the wall. I know you’ve got it in you!

6 Comments

  1. I've heard two already...its tough, no doubt...but I see the potential of the church and that it is in the perfect place to really be effective, so we will sit, pray, and trust that God has a plan and a timing for us.  Our struggle is that we are desperately in need of a house and a job that can support said house, but I cannot get a full time job and work the part-time ministry due to the required office hours for the youth ministry.  I have yet to find a full-time job, but when I do I know there will have to be the talk about the office hours.  We can't stand to leave these kids, but I'm responsible for taking care of my family as well...sticky situation!  But thanks for always writing such relevant stuff on you site...really enjoy it!
  2. I've heard two already...its tough, no doubt...but I see the potential of the church and that it is in the perfect place to really be effective, so we will sit, pray, and trust that God has a plan and a timing for us.  Our struggle is that we are desperately in need of a house and a job that can support said house, but I cannot get a full time job and work the part-time ministry due to the required office hours for the youth ministry.  I have yet to find a full-time job, but when I do I know there will have to be the talk about the office hours.  We can't stand to leave these kids, but I'm responsible for taking care of my family as well...sticky situation!  But thanks for always writing such relevant stuff on you site...really enjoy it!

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