Advice for a Rookie Dad in Youth Ministry

My wife and I are days away from welcoming our first Son into the world, and I can not wait to meet Benjamin Ethan.

He won’t be a junior (different middle name), but I am naming him after myself for one main reason, a vow to myself. My Father has been in Ministry for nearly 40 years, and has mentored and coached me through more trials and situations than I can even remember. If I could someday do half as much as my Dad does, accomplish as much as he does and has, be the kind of Father he is and Grand-Father he is, that would be my life dream. And I know that if he had named me, or my two older brothers, after himself, we all three would have great pride in sharing his name.

So my Vow to my Son is that I will be the kind of Father that will bring great joy and pride to share my name.

I remember when I was about to go into 11th grade, my Youth Pastor and his wife announced to our Youth Ministry that they were expecting their first child, and of course, we were all so thrilled. I remember that night after Youth Group, my youth pastor insisting he drive me home, even though I lived on Church Campus and it was just as far as a walk to his car as my house, and I remember him asking me as soon as I sat in his car “What can I do so my child doesn’t hate church, what are things your parents did you didnt like and things they do you do like about being a Pastor’s Kid.”

I have my own students now to ask this question, but what I do want to know is the advice that you, fellow Youth Workers, would have as I make my final preparations. What is something you wish someone would have told you as you became “Youth Pastor Dad.”

Please leave it in the comments. I know I am not the only Youth Pastor expecting right now, and I could name several Youth Pastor’s I know who just had their first children in the last few months. Share your expert advice with us.

10 Comments

  1. What my wife and I try to do for our 4 children is testify to the Lord working in our lives DAILY. It not only shows the children that God is real in our lives and that He works DAILY for the good of those who love Him and serve Him but it strengthens my wife and my faith to the level that we can believe him for great things. Revelations 12:11 - They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their TESTIMONY; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
  2. What my wife and I try to do for our 4 children is testify to the Lord working in our lives DAILY. It not only shows the children that God is real in our lives and that He works DAILY for the good of those who love Him and serve Him but it strengthens my wife and my faith to the level that we can believe him for great things. Revelations 12:11 - They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their TESTIMONY; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
  3. I became a youth pastor after I became a dad, but please, don't let the church become more important than your child. Make sure your pastor is on board with this. My pastor has sat me down many times and told me that I need to let him know when my family is suffering. He even went to my wife and told her the same thing because, as he told her, "Jonathan won't say anything until it is too late."
  4. I became a youth pastor after I became a dad, but please, don't let the church become more important than your child. Make sure your pastor is on board with this. My pastor has sat me down many times and told me that I need to let him know when my family is suffering. He even went to my wife and told her the same thing because, as he told her, "Jonathan won't say anything until it is too late."
  5. I have a four year old, and I think the best thing you can do is to have plan for how you're going to handle future events with your child. For example, when I turned 16 my parents gave me the choice to decided what church I will attend. I didn't choose their church, but I chose my own and attended faithfully. That really made an impression on me, and now that I'm a student minister, I believe my daughter deserves the same choice as I did. So me and my wife have talked about it, and when she turns 16, she gets to decide what church she will get to attend. I want my daughter to want to be at the church she wants to be at, not the church she believes she as to be at because her dad works there.
  6. I have a four year old, and I think the best thing you can do is to have plan for how you're going to handle future events with your child. For example, when I turned 16 my parents gave me the choice to decided what church I will attend. I didn't choose their church, but I chose my own and attended faithfully. That really made an impression on me, and now that I'm a student minister, I believe my daughter deserves the same choice as I did. So me and my wife have talked about it, and when she turns 16, she gets to decide what church she will get to attend. I want my daughter to want to be at the church she wants to be at, not the church she believes she as to be at because her dad works there.
  7. Remember that your children need to see your love for Jesus, not just your MINISTRY for Jesus. Guard your family time, do everything in your power to not allow ministry stuff to eat away at your family dynamic. Your day off needs to be your day off. Just a few thoughts.
  8. Remember that your children need to see your love for Jesus, not just your MINISTRY for Jesus. Guard your family time, do everything in your power to not allow ministry stuff to eat away at your family dynamic. Your day off needs to be your day off. Just a few thoughts.
  9. I certainly hope that you got some good advice here, seeing as you will now have the opportunity to put it into practice. Congratulations to you and your wife.

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