Can a Woman be a Youth Pastor?

I have grown up in the Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination of Christianity that has more conservative and traditional views of leadership.  I was always told that as a disciple of Jesus Christ, it was my responsibility to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.  However, I saw no women leading in my church to provide this example.  The SBC states in The Baptist Faith and Message, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” The SBC is very specific that women are not allowed to pastor, based on verses that say women are not allowed to have authority over men. However, it says nothing about youth pastor.

When many within my church convicted me and convinced me that youth ministry was my vocational calling, I was confused.  I thought that women couldn’t do it because I hadn’t seen it, yet those with the same theology were affirming it.  So I sought it out for myself.  Here’s what I came up with.

Biblically

1 Timothy 2:11-12, perhaps the strongest argument for women not pastoring, says, “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.  I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.”  I would like to briefly exegete this for you, but of course I encourage you to look at it for yourself.  There is one command in this passage—“Let a woman learn with all submissiveness.”  “Woman” can mean a woman of any age, but 92/221 times it means specifically “wife.”  “Learn” means to learn by use and practice; to be in the habit of.  “Quietly” does not mean quiet in speech, but humble in spirit; it is one who does not bossily meddle with the affairs of others.  As you may know, women have problems with this, ha!  “Submissiveness” means obedience and meekness.  In verse 22, “to exercise authority” has a very dark connotation: one who kills another with his own hands, one who acts on his own authority, an absolute master, or to exercise dominion.  It is only used once in the Bible, in this passage.  It is very interesting that Paul uses authenteō instead of didaskō, which he usually uses when talking about teaching.  We can turn to other classical literature and we see that 67% of the time, the term is used very negatively as well.  Therefore one can tell that Paul isn’t commanding women not to have any authority over men, but to not have an undue authority.  Once again, Paul uses the same word for “silence” meaning humility.  So altogether, the verses read, “Let a woman learn by practice in humble obedience.  I do not permit women to teach heresy or to be in manipulative authority, but she is to be humble.” Paul isn’t prohibiting women from leading, but encouraging women to learn and avoid being deceived. “Learn” is an active kind of learning that implies action, yet Paul reminds women to do it in humility. I hate the argument “well maybe he was just talking to their culture and not ours,” because it can often cheapen Scripture.  Yet, if we were to literally enforce this entire chapter in our culture as we have traditionally enforced these few verses, let’s think about this:  A few verses before Paul commands women to dress modestly, yet no one in the church condemns me for my braided hair or my signature pearl earrings.  If verses literally stand the cultural test of time, then we have a lot to change.  The cultural context is clear: There were many teachers in the early church who were deceiving Christians and convincing them of false teachings.  Paul wanted to make sure that women, who weren’t being educated like men, weren’t teaching if they weren’t equipped to.  It would make sense that he commands them to actively learn. The passage must also be looked within the context of Paul’s teachings as a whole.  Paul consistently said that in Christ, there is no distinction between gender, race, or socioeconomic status (Galatians 3:28, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Colossians 3:11). Paul acknowledged the importance of many women in his ministry.  The Bible has tons of women serving in important roles as teachers and leaders:  Miriam, a prophet (Exodus 15); Deborah, a nation’s leader and judge (Judges 4-5); Esther, an advocate for the Jews (Esther); Priscilla, a teacher (Acts 18:18-26, Romans 1:3); Lydia, Chloe, and Nympha, leaders of the church (Acts 16:13-15, 40; 1 Corinthians 1:1; Colossians 4:15); Phoebe, a deaconess (Romans 16:1); Junia, an apostle (Romans 16:7); Philip’s daughters and other women prophets (Acts 21:9; 1 Corinthians 11:5); etc. Where is the distinction then?  Why are women allowed to be Sunday School teachers or Children’s Ministers, but not Youth Ministers?  What is the difference?  If you want to argue that women can teach, but not be the main leader: Female youth pastors aren’t running the whole church; there is still someone presiding over her.  If you want to argue that adolescent teenage boys are men and that’s why a woman can’t teach over them, then we need to figure out the distinguishing characteristics between a child in Sunday School and a man in “big church.”  Our culture has added adolescence, and the Bible doesn’t address it.  So how can we assume that the Bible states a particular gender is supposed to serve that role?

Culturally

I strongly believe that culture needs to be considered when choosing leaders.  There are cultures around the world that have female-dominant leaders.  If we were to evangelize in those countries and try to set up churches there, we should not expect for our Westernized church to fit their culture.  It would not work, it would be too uncomfortable, and people wouldn’t want to join such a weird religion.  In America we have women becoming CEOs of major companies, making influential speeches at national political conventions, and being named as some of the most influential people in the world.  Yet, our church does not reflect our culture—we are still very male-dominated in major leadership roles.  I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing; I think our culture needs strong men as leaders.  We are plagued by examples of men who are abusive or absent, and I strongly believe we need stronger men in our churches.  In fact, culturally and Biblically, I personally think the head of the church needs to be a man (see, I’m not a total feminist!). Traditionally, a male youth leader has made sense: he was the head pastor of the group.  But youth ministry isn’t so much pastor-centered as it was initially, it is volunteer-centered.  Youth ministry is moving more towards discipleship-centered small groups.  Each discipleship group has either its same gender discipling them or a male-female team.  I love this.  Therefore I personally think that the main leader of the program does not matter—either a male or a woman can efficiently lead a program.  And culturally, it makes sense. But maybe it doesn’t make sense for your culture.  If you are in a more conservative culture, why stir up the pot and have leaders in your church who don’t fit your culture?  When I worked in small town Missouri, I was actually very surprised that I was hired in an SBC church.  Yet I made sense for their culture because they were very discipleship and fellowship-centered and as a woman I have some natural giftings for that sort of thing.

Hormonally

As for the argument that a female cannot complete the role because of her extra estrogen: A female’s estrogen is a gift.  God made men and women in his image, and women reflect God’s more empathetic and caring side.  It’s inarguable that men and women are different and bring different strengths and weaknesses to the table.  We need strong protective leaders just as much as we need empathetic nurturing ones.  Women can get overemotional at times; trust me, there have been times when I have struggled.  I have taken comments too personally, over-invested, and have (yes) cried in youth group before.  But those aren’t completely negative things.  What these qualities show is God’s nurturing, empathetic, gracious side of Him.  God takes our sin too personally, he invests in us even when we don’t invest back, and we are constantly breaking His heart.  Men have beautiful “weaknesses” too—men can be aggressive, tough on their disciples, and can harden in times when people hurt them.  This show’s God’s more judicial and strong side of his character.  Men and women need each other in order to provide a more perfect picture of who God is, and this picture is needed when leading teenagers.  Teenagers need both male and female role models to lead them.

Practically

If I minister to teenagers, am I really going against God’s will?  Can God possibly believe that I am sinning when I minister the Gospel?  I have a lot of issue with this.  Having a relationship with God is not about doing x, y, and z.  It’s about a heart that seeks to serve Him.  In Christ, we are free.  How can God send me away for sending so many to Him?   I originally wrote this post 6 months ago and put it off because this is essentially my identity that I’m arguing for. I know that I will receive a lot of flack for this post, so I ask that you create discourse in the comments and not dissension   Remember that I’m not saying that women can be the head of the church, but the head of a youth ministry program. I want to create a culture of youth ministry that has men and women working together to minister to our student Saints.  
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92 Comments

  1. I love this post and am glad you chose to create this article. I grew up in non-denominational churches with male only leaders, but I don't remember a specific emphasis put on it, it just was. About 9 years ago I changed churches and began attending the church I now am a part of. The head pastors are a married couple and Jeri speaks just as much as Jeff does. Jeri is an extremely gifted preacher, counselor, and leader. I am blessed to have the example of her as a christ follower who is leading ministry as a woman. I am the Head Youth Leader for JH and HS at the church, and I agree with my church's stance that God specifically gifts whomever he chooses to minister in the church. Jeri has been gifted by God to fulfill a Senior Pastor role and I have been gifted(and lead) by Him to lead the Youth Ministry. I think you hit it right on the head with the statement, "Having a relationship with God is not about doing x, y, and z. It’s about a heart that seeks to serve Him." The whole point of the Gospel is that God wants a deep intimate and active relationship with his people. God does not discriminate. Man or Woman, Child or Adult - God wants our hearts and lives. If He leads us to do ministry(in whatever capacity), that is what we should be doing! To tell Him that we can't because we are not the right gender, or age, or race, or ____________(fill in the blank) is denying His authority over our lives and the world that He created.
    • Tammy, thanks for your comment! I hope EVERYBODY reads that last paragraph you wrote--it's important! Thanks for your ministry, lady :)
  2. I love this post and am glad you chose to create this article. I grew up in non-denominational churches with male only leaders, but I don't remember a specific emphasis put on it, it just was. About 9 years ago I changed churches and began attending the church I now am a part of. The head pastors are a married couple and Jeri speaks just as much as Jeff does. Jeri is an extremely gifted preacher, counselor, and leader. I am blessed to have the example of her as a christ follower who is leading ministry as a woman. I am the Head Youth Leader for JH and HS at the church, and I agree with my church's stance that God specifically gifts whomever he chooses to minister in the church. Jeri has been gifted by God to fulfill a Senior Pastor role and I have been gifted(and lead) by Him to lead the Youth Ministry. I think you hit it right on the head with the statement, "Having a relationship with God is not about doing x, y, and z. It’s about a heart that seeks to serve Him." The whole point of the Gospel is that God wants a deep intimate and active relationship with his people. God does not discriminate. Man or Woman, Child or Adult - God wants our hearts and lives. If He leads us to do ministry(in whatever capacity), that is what we should be doing! To tell Him that we can't because we are not the right gender, or age, or race, or ____________(fill in the blank) is denying His authority over our lives and the world that He created.
    • Tammy, thanks for your comment! I hope EVERYBODY reads that last paragraph you wrote--it's important! Thanks for your ministry, lady :)
  3. Great exegetical work Heather! You would make a seminary professor proud! I really hope people pay close attention to your argument and realize you're not trying to say women should be pastors, but that there is space for women to serve as youth pastors, worship ministers, evangelist, and missionaries within the context of the church! Secondly, you hit the nail on the head when it comes to culture. During Paul's time he is speaking to his cultural norms, and part of that norm was to maintain a type of order within all structures of life. The Romans even believed if the structural order of the family were to break down, it would lead to the downfall of the Empire! To put it in present terms, Paul knows which hill he's willing to die on. Even though he keeps cultural norms, at the same time, we also find him pushing the boundaries and giving women a greater status than their culture would normally give them. So our job is to figure out how we bridge the cultural gap between them and us. Yet, you know just as much as I do, that can be tricky and can cause the breakdown of scripture, especially on what God deems as what is sin. Finally, as a whole, Paul's theology is consistent, however, we have to be careful because there are many places where Paul says one thing, and then says the exact opposite. So each letter has to be looked at by itself because he is applying his theology to a specific culture that is taking place within a city or region. We can still find a lot of Paul's theology throughout different letters, but the main letter that gives his exhaustive thought on his theology is Romans. So in short this paragraph is more of a support of the previous one on culture, but at the same time, the trap that some may fall in when trying piece Paul's theology together from various letters. In the end excellent work!
    • Fuentes, the highest compliment I can receive is "great exegetical work." I could write on Paul's view of women day and night, but I tried to keep it brief for the sake of a chance of people actually READING this and not getting frazzled by 2,000 words. Ha! Thanks for your comment, especiallyyyyyyyy since I know you're a hard-core Baptist. My day has been made! :)
  4. Great exegetical work Heather! You would make a seminary professor proud! I really hope people pay close attention to your argument and realize you're not trying to say women should be pastors, but that there is space for women to serve as youth pastors, worship ministers, evangelist, and missionaries within the context of the church! Secondly, you hit the nail on the head when it comes to culture. During Paul's time he is speaking to his cultural norms, and part of that norm was to maintain a type of order within all structures of life. The Romans even believed if the structural order of the family were to break down, it would lead to the downfall of the Empire! To put it in present terms, Paul knows which hill he's willing to die on. Even though he keeps cultural norms, at the same time, we also find him pushing the boundaries and giving women a greater status than their culture would normally give them. So our job is to figure out how we bridge the cultural gap between them and us. Yet, you know just as much as I do, that can be tricky and can cause the breakdown of scripture, especially on what God deems as what is sin. Finally, as a whole, Paul's theology is consistent, however, we have to be careful because there are many places where Paul says one thing, and then says the exact opposite. So each letter has to be looked at by itself because he is applying his theology to a specific culture that is taking place within a city or region. We can still find a lot of Paul's theology throughout different letters, but the main letter that gives his exhaustive thought on his theology is Romans. So in short this paragraph is more of a support of the previous one on culture, but at the same time, the trap that some may fall in when trying piece Paul's theology together from various letters. In the end excellent work!
    • Fuentes, the highest compliment I can receive is "great exegetical work." I could write on Paul's view of women day and night, but I tried to keep it brief for the sake of a chance of people actually READING this and not getting frazzled by 2,000 words. Ha! Thanks for your comment, especiallyyyyyyyy since I know you're a hard-core Baptist. My day has been made! :)
  5. Please understand when I say what I say that I am not sexist or hateful towards women in any aspect... However, I will say this: you used the term "Youth ministers" at one point in your article... Are we talking about being ministers or pastors? I have no problem with women being ministers, but pastors might be a far stretch. I'll assume that you are referring to the pastorate. Secondly, the women you referenced from the Scriptures, in the context of each passage we must ask ourselves "why?" Why were they in a "leadership" position? Of course I know you have probably heard all the arguments and I wish not to get into those, but I felt the need to post what I said above. Thank you!
    • In my personal opinion, director = minister = pastor in terms of what they do. I proudly call myself either; and I mean, a pastor means a shepherd. I herd my sheep just as much as the next guy. I'm sure that what you're asking is more along the lines of ordination; should a woman be ordained? That's not the purpose of my article so I choose not to get into that. The purpose of it was to outline whether a woman can lead a youth ministry, not if you should call her a pastor or a minister or a ____. I also don't understand your second question exactly; at least, I don't understand the motives of it. "Why?" God has his reasons for every person that he chooses. I don't believe that those women weren't just a special case, if that is what you are implying. And even if they were, who are we to determine who is a special case and who isn't? How would we determine that in OUR time and culture? That could get extremely messy. Do we ask "Why" for EVERY person that God asks? Is that even our place? I think it's God's place to call, not ours. Thanks for responding, Derek. I hope I answered your comments and I know that your heart is in the right place. Godspeed with your youth group!
      • As a side note, I find it interesting that the office of pastor as we see it in our modern culture isn't anywhere in Scripture. We read our own assumptions and job descriptions into language used in Scripture and assume it's congruent. So we're essentially using Paul's words to limit (theoretically) half of God's people from an office that didn't even exist then? and as another side note, the don't let women exercise authority, and for those who want to use that to exclude, if you do your cultural studies well, you'll find that Paul is addressing a culture GREATLY influenced by Aphrodite-centered orgy worship cults, with priestesses who ran the temples. I would say Paul is saying, those women coming in from a cult centered on essentially communal sex, they don't need to be in authority right now. They're coming from a situation where they used their bodies and they reigned in a satanic way, and so they may not be the best leaders now. Not because they were women, but because they were converting from a cult and used to assuming manipulative power.
        • AMEN Austin on that first paragraph! And your second was on point as well. I feel like I could have written a book on this. ha!
  6. Please understand when I say what I say that I am not sexist or hateful towards women in any aspect... However, I will say this: you used the term "Youth ministers" at one point in your article... Are we talking about being ministers or pastors? I have no problem with women being ministers, but pastors might be a far stretch. I'll assume that you are referring to the pastorate. Secondly, the women you referenced from the Scriptures, in the context of each passage we must ask ourselves "why?" Why were they in a "leadership" position? Of course I know you have probably heard all the arguments and I wish not to get into those, but I felt the need to post what I said above. Thank you!
    • In my personal opinion, director = minister = pastor in terms of what they do. I proudly call myself either; and I mean, a pastor means a shepherd. I herd my sheep just as much as the next guy. I'm sure that what you're asking is more along the lines of ordination; should a woman be ordained? That's not the purpose of my article so I choose not to get into that. The purpose of it was to outline whether a woman can lead a youth ministry, not if you should call her a pastor or a minister or a ____. I also don't understand your second question exactly; at least, I don't understand the motives of it. "Why?" God has his reasons for every person that he chooses. I don't believe that those women weren't just a special case, if that is what you are implying. And even if they were, who are we to determine who is a special case and who isn't? How would we determine that in OUR time and culture? That could get extremely messy. Do we ask "Why" for EVERY person that God asks? Is that even our place? I think it's God's place to call, not ours. Thanks for responding, Derek. I hope I answered your comments and I know that your heart is in the right place. Godspeed with your youth group!
      • As a side note, I find it interesting that the office of pastor as we see it in our modern culture isn't anywhere in Scripture. We read our own assumptions and job descriptions into language used in Scripture and assume it's congruent. So we're essentially using Paul's words to limit (theoretically) half of God's people from an office that didn't even exist then? and as another side note, the don't let women exercise authority, and for those who want to use that to exclude, if you do your cultural studies well, you'll find that Paul is addressing a culture GREATLY influenced by Aphrodite-centered orgy worship cults, with priestesses who ran the temples. I would say Paul is saying, those women coming in from a cult centered on essentially communal sex, they don't need to be in authority right now. They're coming from a situation where they used their bodies and they reigned in a satanic way, and so they may not be the best leaders now. Not because they were women, but because they were converting from a cult and used to assuming manipulative power.
        • AMEN Austin on that first paragraph! And your second was on point as well. I feel like I could have written a book on this. ha!
  7. Good for you! I don't know you personally, but from what I've read, you seem like you'd make a great youth minister. Teens need a role model who is willing to stand up for what she believes and can think critically to make others understand.
  8. Good for you! I don't know you personally, but from what I've read, you seem like you'd make a great youth minister. Teens need a role model who is willing to stand up for what she believes and can think critically to make others understand.
  9. Hey Heather, thanks for this post, well written and communicates well. I have always benefited from the understanding of the 1 Timothy passage as a "usurpation" of power or influence. In other words, the undue authority that you mentioned. I think that is a better understanding of the intent of the passage than the more "cursory" one. One word of caution - you argue that "our churches don't reflect the culture." True, and I'm okay with that. I don't think we want to use that argument for ANY part of the church, because the church is CALLED to be different. This cultural argument opens the door for other "cultural" things the church may never want to embrace. Great article, and thanks for giving a very fair and balanced treatment to this topic - great job!
    • I couldn't agree more! That culture argument should NEVER be used alone for ANYTHING. The only reason I used it was to make a well-rounded argument; to show not only exegetical principles but cultural and practical ones too. Keith, I highly value your opinions; to get the stamp of approval is stellar.
      • Haha, you have it. You've done a great job with this article, as always. My dad (an elder at the Jerome Christian Church) just told me over the phone that he read your article, and you did a great job, and he passed it along to some folks he thought would be interested. Great work!
  10. Hey Heather, thanks for this post, well written and communicates well. I have always benefited from the understanding of the 1 Timothy passage as a "usurpation" of power or influence. In other words, the undue authority that you mentioned. I think that is a better understanding of the intent of the passage than the more "cursory" one. One word of caution - you argue that "our churches don't reflect the culture." True, and I'm okay with that. I don't think we want to use that argument for ANY part of the church, because the church is CALLED to be different. This cultural argument opens the door for other "cultural" things the church may never want to embrace. Great article, and thanks for giving a very fair and balanced treatment to this topic - great job!
    • I couldn't agree more! That culture argument should NEVER be used alone for ANYTHING. The only reason I used it was to make a well-rounded argument; to show not only exegetical principles but cultural and practical ones too. Keith, I highly value your opinions; to get the stamp of approval is stellar.
      • Haha, you have it. You've done a great job with this article, as always. My dad (an elder at the Jerome Christian Church) just told me over the phone that he read your article, and you did a great job, and he passed it along to some folks he thought would be interested. Great work!
  11. This is awesome and gives hope! Thank you. Im 21, single, and im the interm youth pastor at my local church. Hoping to be the Youth Pastor in June. My pastors took great consideration when looking at me to be the Youth Pastor, and know they support me 100%. Excited for the journey God has for me, and your post made me even more excited!
    • ANNA! I wish you would have linked your email so I could send you this personally, but here's hoping you return to this page. We have a women's FB group for youth pastors! It helps me SO MUCH. https://www.facebook.com/groups/153892218083989/
    • Anna (and anyone else reading this) find me on Facebook or Twitter! I can get you hooked up with a FB connect group for female youth pastors!
  12. This is awesome and gives hope! Thank you. Im 21, single, and im the interm youth pastor at my local church. Hoping to be the Youth Pastor in June. My pastors took great consideration when looking at me to be the Youth Pastor, and know they support me 100%. Excited for the journey God has for me, and your post made me even more excited!
    • Anna (and anyone else reading this) find me on Facebook or Twitter! I can get you hooked up with a FB connect group for female youth pastors!
  13. Thanks for sharing Heather! I typically do not write WHY I think women can serve as youth pastors...or ministers, or whatever the title because most people only care about their own opinions and faith tradition. Good for you for tackling the subject and giving us all something to think about. There are so many female youth pastors out there...so if women can not be youth pastors, someone forgot to send me (and several others) the memo!
    • I think female pastors are afraid of putting it out there for fear of attack...I felt like it needed to be addressed. Loved your blog the other day where you named so many female youth pastors to your child...that was encouraging :)
      • It can be a challenge to blog about controversial topics (or even personal struggles sometimes) when employed by a church. When a paycheck is attached to ministry (especially in more conservative environments) there are no shortage of "snipers on every roof top" (quoting a controversial pastor) ready to take you down. So I try really hard to take the middle of the road and frequently have to go in and edit what I post, for fear of backlash!!! Not so much from where I serve now, but from previous employers I still care to keep happy. I pray for wisdom daily!!
  14. Thanks for sharing Heather! I typically do not write WHY I think women can serve as youth pastors...or ministers, or whatever the title because most people only care about their own opinions and faith tradition. Good for you for tackling the subject and giving us all something to think about. There are so many female youth pastors out there...so if women can not be youth pastors, someone forgot to send me (and several others) the memo!
    • I think female pastors are afraid of putting it out there for fear of attack...I felt like it needed to be addressed. Loved your blog the other day where you named so many female youth pastors to your child...that was encouraging :)
      • It can be a challenge to blog about controversial topics (or even personal struggles sometimes) when employed by a church. When a paycheck is attached to ministry (especially in more conservative environments) there are no shortage of "snipers on every roof top" (quoting a controversial pastor) ready to take you down. So I try really hard to take the middle of the road and frequently have to go in and edit what I post, for fear of backlash!!! Not so much from where I serve now, but from previous employers I still care to keep happy. I pray for wisdom daily!!
  15. Heather, I am so proud of you (and I mean this in a totally non-condescending way). Like you, I grew up in a Baptist church and for a long time, I too believed that women should basically shut up. Imagine my confusion when I turned out to have a gift for leading and for speaking/preaching. I wrestled with it and like you, I dove into those parts of Scripture that people use to 'ban' women from leadership positions. And I came to the exact same conclusions. Thank you for writing this and for making a clear, well formulated, Biblical argument.
    • Rachel, you know I think the world of you! I'm excited to see where God's giftings take me.
  16. Heather, I am so proud of you (and I mean this in a totally non-condescending way). Like you, I grew up in a Baptist church and for a long time, I too believed that women should basically shut up. Imagine my confusion when I turned out to have a gift for leading and for speaking/preaching. I wrestled with it and like you, I dove into those parts of Scripture that people use to 'ban' women from leadership positions. And I came to the exact same conclusions. Thank you for writing this and for making a clear, well formulated, Biblical argument.
    • Rachel, you know I think the world of you! I'm excited to see where God's giftings take me.
  17. As a Baptist youth guy, I loved your article. I wish more of us youth workers would dig as deeply into God's truth to find the answers to our questions. Most of our opinions are surface level. Even though I am a guy, I have benefited from your thoughts. I too agree that women should follow their calling from God and minister to youth. Bring on the female youth ministers! However, I have this growing concern that we are too flippant with our terms. I don't mean this personally with your post; I mean it generically in Christian life. Although I think it would be impossible to bring all of Christianity into nicely categorized terminology, I worry that our terms could not be more precise. If the senior pastor position is reserved for men, would it benefit us to reserve the title "pastor" for that position, and use "minister" for other positions? I am myself not 100% certain what I think about that, but I am convinced that our terms should be more thought through. Good news: because we are SBC, my church can decide its terms and your church can decide its terms!! :)
    • Sometimes I'm in the camp that terms are no big, and sometimes I feel terms should be thought through a little more. Seems like a good topic for future discussion, for sure.
  18. As a Baptist youth guy, I loved your article. I wish more of us youth workers would dig as deeply into God's truth to find the answers to our questions. Most of our opinions are surface level. Even though I am a guy, I have benefited from your thoughts. I too agree that women should follow their calling from God and minister to youth. Bring on the female youth ministers! However, I have this growing concern that we are too flippant with our terms. I don't mean this personally with your post; I mean it generically in Christian life. Although I think it would be impossible to bring all of Christianity into nicely categorized terminology, I worry that our terms could not be more precise. If the senior pastor position is reserved for men, would it benefit us to reserve the title "pastor" for that position, and use "minister" for other positions? I am myself not 100% certain what I think about that, but I am convinced that our terms should be more thought through. Good news: because we are SBC, my church can decide its terms and your church can decide its terms!! :)
    • Sometimes I'm in the camp that terms are no big, and sometimes I feel terms should be thought through a little more. Seems like a good topic for future discussion, for sure.
  19. Totally random, but not: How do you see yourself fitting in with the two offices mentioned in 1Tim3? Overseer or deacon? That question probably has a really long answer. Email me at rev.tucker@gmail.com if you prefer. I am really curious.
  20. Totally random, but not: How do you see yourself fitting in with the two offices mentioned in 1Tim3? Overseer or deacon? That question probably has a really long answer. Email me at rev.tucker@gmail.com if you prefer. I am really curious.
  21. I wanted to add...my 8 year old daughter came home from school with this very same question! Which is why it's also been a reoccurring theme on my blog lately. Apparently 2nd graders want to weigh in on the topic. "Mom, my friend said girls can't be youth pastors!"
  22. I wanted to add...my 8 year old daughter came home from school with this very same question! Which is why it's also been a reoccurring theme on my blog lately. Apparently 2nd graders want to weigh in on the topic. "Mom, my friend said girls can't be youth pastors!"
  23. To me it kind of leans on your view of students as either being children or young adults. For the sake to save controversy. I will say this: Good job Heather. I am one of your biggest fans on here. Mostly because you make me look educated by cleaning up my gramatical errors in my posts. :)
  24. To me it kind of leans on your view of students as either being children or young adults. For the sake to save controversy. I will say this: Good job Heather. I am one of your biggest fans on here. Mostly because you make me look educated by cleaning up my gramatical errors in my posts. :)
  25. The question I'd ask is "Can a woman be a pastor?" If you have the word "pastor" it doesn't matter what you put before/after it, there are NT prescriptions for who can fulfill the definition of that word in the NT. "Youth group" like "Sunday school" is a creation of the modern church (culture). If you are serving in a role while submitting to other, more senior, pastoral leadership why are you called a "Pastor" and not a "Deacon(ess)?" (I'm thinking of Capitol Hill and other conservative SBC churches that refer to people in some director-minister type positions as "Deacon(ess).") The current trend seems to be to call the youth pastor the "Pastor of Youth and Family." What's the difference? Is one expected to shepherd only the adolescents while the other is also shepherding their families? Would you be overstepping that authority in your current position unless you're called "Family pastor" as well? Is it okay for you to serve as Youth Pastor and only teach/preach to youth but not the entire church? Shouldn't a pastor be able to teach/preach the entire body? I'd argue that either you're a "pastor" (or "elder") -- with all the roles listed in the NT that go with it-- or you're something else. (The same applies to "worship pastor," he'd better also be able to teach and shepherd, not just play guitar and arrange music-- according to the NT qualification of "pastor.")
    • I hear what you're saying and I agree for the most part--but my question is: Is even our pastors as we have them the same as the "NT" pastor that is supposed to be male? If the job description changes, shouldn't the qualifications? Just something I've been thinking about...
  26. The question I'd ask is "Can a woman be a pastor?" If you have the word "pastor" it doesn't matter what you put before/after it, there are NT prescriptions for who can fulfill the definition of that word in the NT. "Youth group" like "Sunday school" is a creation of the modern church (culture). If you are serving in a role while submitting to other, more senior, pastoral leadership why are you called a "Pastor" and not a "Deacon(ess)?" (I'm thinking of Capitol Hill and other conservative SBC churches that refer to people in some director-minister type positions as "Deacon(ess).") The current trend seems to be to call the youth pastor the "Pastor of Youth and Family." What's the difference? Is one expected to shepherd only the adolescents while the other is also shepherding their families? Would you be overstepping that authority in your current position unless you're called "Family pastor" as well? Is it okay for you to serve as Youth Pastor and only teach/preach to youth but not the entire church? Shouldn't a pastor be able to teach/preach the entire body? I'd argue that either you're a "pastor" (or "elder") -- with all the roles listed in the NT that go with it-- or you're something else. (The same applies to "worship pastor," he'd better also be able to teach and shepherd, not just play guitar and arrange music-- according to the NT qualification of "pastor.")
    • I hear what you're saying and I agree for the most part--but my question is: Is even our pastors as we have them the same as the "NT" pastor that is supposed to be male? If the job description changes, shouldn't the qualifications? Just something I've been thinking about...
  27. Wow. This was incredibly encouraging! I've been a youth pastor at a small church in Southern California for a little over 6 years. It's been quite a journey, but so incredibly worth it! Finding your heartfelt and intellectually stimulating post today (Thank you Pinterest--) was like finding water in the desert! And I'm so elated that you have a blog as well! Ahh!
  28. Wow. This was incredibly encouraging! I've been a youth pastor at a small church in Southern California for a little over 6 years. It's been quite a journey, but so incredibly worth it! Finding your heartfelt and intellectually stimulating post today (Thank you Pinterest--) was like finding water in the desert! And I'm so elated that you have a blog as well! Ahh!
  29. You mentioned: " It is very interesting that Paul uses authenteō instead of didaskō, which he usually uses when talking about teaching." didaskein (to teach) is the first word in verse 12? What do you mean when you say he uses authenteo instead of didasko? He certainly uses authenteo in verse 12 (to exercise authority), but he begins the verse by using the word most commonly used for "to teach."
  30. You mentioned: " It is very interesting that Paul uses authenteō instead of didaskō, which he usually uses when talking about teaching." didaskein (to teach) is the first word in verse 12? What do you mean when you say he uses authenteo instead of didasko? He certainly uses authenteo in verse 12 (to exercise authority), but he begins the verse by using the word most commonly used for "to teach."
  31. Wow! I'm only 15 which might seem extremely young, but I've been feeling this burning passion in my heart to preach. I've grown up around the church and have always known God for as long as I can remember. I went to private school for years, so I was very sheltered as a child. When I switched to public school in 7th grade my whole life changed. I really saw the hurt people could have without God. All I've wanted to do since then is grow up and be a youth pastor. This article was very helpful because this has been a question I've had for awhile. I don't want to do something against Gods will. I've prayed about this for YEARS, and I still need clarity to know if this is absolutely 100% what God wants for me. This article really helped! Thanks!
  32. Wow! I'm only 15 which might seem extremely young, but I've been feeling this burning passion in my heart to preach. I've grown up around the church and have always known God for as long as I can remember. I went to private school for years, so I was very sheltered as a child. When I switched to public school in 7th grade my whole life changed. I really saw the hurt people could have without God. All I've wanted to do since then is grow up and be a youth pastor. This article was very helpful because this has been a question I've had for awhile. I don't want to do something against Gods will. I've prayed about this for YEARS, and I still need clarity to know if this is absolutely 100% what God wants for me. This article really helped! Thanks!
  33. this is SOO encouraging!! i know God has called me to be a youth pastor, but struggled with it because of the woman's suppossed role in the church . Now i know there is such a thing as female youth pastors!
  34. I appreciate your insight. As a youth pastor I seek to find to find women to help lead because they, you are invaluable, however as youth ministry grows I find myself coaching and pastoring my leaders more than my Students, that is where I have concerns for a female in the youth pastor role. If lead well, I believe you are pastoring adults who help Shepard teens. Keep leading, keep loving, keep serving, but hold fast to the word of the Lord, resist the temptation to conform to Tue patterns of the world.
  35. Heather, thanks so much for this. This is exactly what I was looking for when I went searching this topic. Living in small town KS when our youth leader stepped aside and noone stood up, that is how I became "Youth Leader" However, I still struggled with my GA Southern Baptist roots. Well said. Thank you again.
  36. Hi, I am a Youth Leader at my church, but because of my gender the only things I am allowed to do is check kids in, do the icebreaker or game, or do the offering prayer. I am older than the other Youth Leaders which are all men. I come from a tone of experience and wisdom and I have a lot more devotion and time into this ministry then the 20 something guys do. Honestly some of the ways they talk to these youth is demeaning and lacks rapport. I would like to have the girls session out from the boys and us girls can just talk about whatever is on their minds and hearts. Or I would like to share my testimony, or share a message given to me by God that week. I raised 2 children who are wonderful adults now. I have a 13 year old daughter at home still. Her friends from school are her friends from youth. We have them over, we make cookies, we go out to ice cream, we go shopping, its natural for us. At Youth, these girls just drape themselves around me, I love them and they love me. But there are so many others that we don't hang out with from older grades that we are only seeing on Tuesday nights. I know they would benefit from all the things I am able to tell my 13 year old and her friends. We talk about depression, teen suicide, eating disorders, dating, purity, modesty and anything else you can think of that God has divine inspiration from scripture so I can preach about it. I've talked with the Youth Pastor and he doesn't want women to preach. I feel restricted and as well, I feel bad for the kids who have to hear week after week pretty much the same message from the guy you can't get a stutter out or quote a scripture off the top of his head. I've never relayed my displeasure of course because these fine young men will do well with more experience in due time so I give them my humble submission. For a living i work in education. My job is to change lives through the investing in self. I give presentations several times a day. I've been doing this for some time. I think if someone gave me a chance, I'd blow them out of the water, but I guess that is just not how it will be at my present position. It's got me thinking of looking elsewhere to other churches. I feel bad about that though. I am not certain what to do, I have given up.
    • Brenda - I want to encourage you. I share the a similar conviction to those you do ministry with. I want to say that I really appreciate the submission you have shown but I think you are really short changing your youth by not voicing your very valuable opinion. Think of it like this, When I was a student in college I was an RA. That meant that I had some authority over my peers. If I caught them doing something wrong it was my responsibility to stop them and report them. However when I was not and RA and I caught them doing something wrong, I had no authority over them, but I could still lovingly rebuke and correct them. Just because you are not in authority over them or their Sheppard, does not mean you should lovingly rebuke and correct them. Your input is valuable. You should feel free to express concerns and share insights and make suggestions. In fact, it is your responsibility as a fellow Christian. You may not have the final say but that does not mean you should not influence it. you need to speak up as you feel compelled to. Please don't give up, you don't need to switch churches, you just need to humbly speak up and have low expectations as to not be discouraged. I think you fellow leaders would be unwise to dismiss your input. I only say have low expectations because I don't know them or how they will respond to you change and I don't want you to give up again just because they don't listen. They will realise how valuable your input is over time. You are not exercising authority over them.
  37. This has helped me beyond words I have a calling for youth ministry and I am about to go to college and when I told my own youth pastor about it he told me it was "unbiblical" for a women to be a any sort of leader in the church and I had to realize it's not his calling it's God who is calling me and reading this just helped me realize this is where God wants me thank you so much!
  38. Hello, I was just looking up stuff about woman being youth pastors because I feel God and adults at my church pressuring me to be a youth pastor. I am only 17 but I have already seen the amazing wrath and love of God. I would like to just thank the author of this because it has encouraged me to step up and take the challenge of being a youth pastor! Thanks! :)
  39. Thank you so much for posting this. As an emerging youth leader, I often struggle with this as I only want God's will in my life. If I can't be a youth leader because I'm a woman, then I must have gotten my calling wrong. No bieno. I am becoming convinced that that small voice saying "I can't" is the devil trying to stop me from setting the next generation on fire for Jesus and discipleship. Team woman youth pastors!
  40. Thank you so much for this post. I am stepping into youth pastor role along with my husband. he is the leader of our home but not feeling lead to teach. so we TEACH together as a partnership. I am looking at paper wise becoming a youth pastor and have been struggling with is this what God wants of me. I will keep on praying. this helped clarify some things and I'll keep on studying.
  41. This article saved me and I truly thank you for writing this. I have been struggling for so long with the idea that I'm not good enough to minister or I don't have the right anatomy to have a leadership role in the church which has always been the silliest thing to me. My heart is with youth ministry but I fought it away when all I was hearing was no. You have given me the inspiration that I need and provided me with the courage that was taken from me. Glory be to God that you are in His kingdom and spreading His word, you are doing a phenomenal job. You said "How can God send me away for sending so many to Him?" and I have heard people, even my own mother, tell me I could never do this because it isn't what God commanded. This article said everything that I have been thinking and been struggling to put into words. You are truly a blessing.

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