There are two needs in congregations that justify a youth ministry/pastor/worker on staff.
- When your church has a large number of youth and children in Sunday school and a significant of high school/college age young adults.
- When your church has almost no children in Sunday school and perhaps few high school and college age young adults.
How do you find an outstanding youth minister/young adult pastor/worker?
- Some of the best “fishing pools” for youth ministers are churches that have had strong youth ministry for at least ten years. Those churches likely have a good youth minister who has been a model for young adults growing up in that church.
- Youth ministry is better caught than taught. That means great youth ministries raise up new great youth ministers.
- The best way to teach effective youth ministry is to model it. So, when you interview a youth minister, make sure he/she has a strong commitment to disciple youth to be the youth minsters of the future.
- Look at a youth minister who has the objective of equipping youth, to replace themselves in a decade. Shy away from youth ministers who have the idea that their primary calling is to entertain the youth in the church.
- Look for a youth minister that has the objective of continually developing future youth ministers, within the congregation, unpaid, and operating, so that the youth minister operates as an overseer/coach, discipler of volunteer youth who are empowered to lead and multiply future leaders.
- When looking at youth pastor candidates, make sure they understand and commit to the philosophy of ministry of your church. If your church does not have a philosophy of ministry, develop one, using the book, Your Church has Personality: Find Your Focus/Maximize Your Mission. Bring a team together and develop a philosophy of ministry.
- When reviewing candidates, ask them to take a spiritual gifts survey. Watch for dominant gifts of wisdom, leadership, apostle, teaching and exhortation (encouragement).
- As with any leadership position, look for one who knows how to relationally disciple others.
- Identify whether the candidate has a lifestyle of Bible study. This is important because it demonstrates a priority that can be modeled to young people.
- I know of no better source for an outstanding youth minister than a young adult who has been equipped in the ten-month spiritual adventure, SENDNorthAmerica.com, especially if they have the spiritual gifts listed above.