Take Your Head Out of the Sand

Youth Ministry is not about you.


No surprise, but many of us, including me, make it about ourselves. It's the raw and tough truth — one with which all of us need to wrestle and deal.

We want to make youth ministry about us on some level because we want to keep our jobs. It's not entirely selfish. We have families to feed. Roofs to keep over our head. We need our jobs. Yet, is the right response to make ourselves indispensable by creating a community that revolves around our personality? Abilities? Charisma? Charm? Knowledge?

All of that seems quite antithetical to the Gospel and methodology of Jesus Christ.

First, it directly counters the model of Jesus for us to make disciples. I am not sure if we make disciples by withholding opportunities or prudently dispensing information from other Jesus followers. The early chapters of the book of Acts describes images of the newborn church blossoming due to selfless and radical inclusion, sharing, and invitation.

Second, in my previous post, I wrote about my own personal limitations as a Pastor and subsequently, the limitations of every finite, broken human being. People vary in personal capacities. Some accomplish more than others. We will always, however, accomplish more together.

We need to take our heads out of the sand. 

You will not lose your job because you equip leaders, parents, and other caring adults to do the good, faithful, and adventurous work of youth ministry. If you do, then either served underneath an ill-equipped pastor, or you missed other glaring issues that impacted your long-term sustainability at your previous place of employment.

We need to take our heads out of the sand… and do the HARD work of self-reflection and inventory.

No Lead Pastor will let you go because you enlarge your leadership team, thereby growing your student ministry. Instead, we need to let go of our fear that only the hired Pastor in his or her area of ministry ought to execute those duties better than anyone else in the church. In fact, I must personally admit that I hope my leaders perform the task of youth ministry better than me. If so, then I have done my job and am freed to undertake additional tasks and projects to further my God-given agenda for youth ministry.

We need to take our heads out of the sand… and do the HARD work of self-reflection and inventory… so that we make ourselves indispensable. 

Pray in confidence that you may live and serve into your call as a youth pastor. Equip leaders. Parter with parents. Do contact work. Disciple teenagers. And gather as many people into your fold that God allows by giving away your abilities, knowledge, and resources to as many as you can.

We need to take our heads out of the sand… and do the HARD work of self-reflection and inventory… so that we make ourselves indispensable… by giving away as much of our resources away as possible. 

Question: How do you use your resources to share, invite, and include others into your youth ministry?