7 non-spiritual skills needed for pastoring youth

I was thinking the other day, about some of the "non-spiritual" skills that youth pastors need to have to be able to pastor youth well, but no one ever tells us that we need to have them until it's too late. This post is dedicated to all the potential youth pastors out there...

The potential youth pastor must...

1. ... know how to operate a photocopier.

The potential youth pastor must know how to use a photocopier well as he/she will spend hours upon hours of time during their ministry-life making copies of thousands upon thousands of documents. The person must not only be able to operate the copier effenciently... they must also learn how to fix countless copier jams, replace numerous toner cartridges, copy other people's docs (the rest of the pastoral staff that don't know how to use a copier), and, when the copier dies, be able to get to the nearest open copy shop, get the run done, and get back to church before the meeting begins. Considering the important 'must-do-at-all-cost' copy run usually gets forgotten until 10 minutes before the event starts, this skill is a highly sought after one.

2. ...enjoy folding flyers.

The potential youth pastor must enjoy cutting and folding thousands of flyers... regularly. The more people that are expected to attend the event, the more flyers must be copied, cut and folded. Usually about 1000 more than is expected (as most are stuffed in jeans-pockets, forgotten about, and disintegrated due to spin-cycle). Did I mention one must know how to use a copier?

3. ...buy and present a cafe-quality, nutritious, healthy suppers without breaking the youth-ministry bank account.

Easier said than done these days. A decade ago, young people actually looked foward to a supper which consisted of the main two food-groups... potato chips, and Coca-cola. Nowadays, if its not plunger coffee, or a chicken-wrap, the youth would rather go to McCafe.

4. ...be able to have an engaging conversation with a young person they don't remember, while not giving away the fact that they don't remember them.

The life of a youth-pastor is a high-profile, public one. Many young people are going to get to know the potential youth pastor very well because of the many everyday examples and testimonies they will hear from him/her messages and sermons. The potential youth pastor will be spotted by young people everywhere... in the supermarket, at the beach, at the mall, at the movies, and the they will call him/her by name, expecting that he/she will know them and remember their name. The potential youth pastor must know how to hold a good conversation with a young person who thinks they should know them, while in reality, he/she won't know who they are, or how they know them. Generic recognition phrases like, "buddy" and "mate", come in very handy at times like these.

5. ...function well, burnt-out.

The potential youth pastor will be required to stay up late packing up after events, rise early to finish messages, skip meals due to time-restrictions/youthpastor's salary, acomplish a month's worth of work in one week due to the annual youth-camp booked in in a week's time, present themselves as being totally in-control and relaxed, while in reality everything is out-of-control and they could die becasue of the stress... In other words, work well, stressed and burnt-out. Many pastors will say that a youth pastor should take a holiday when everything is getting on top of them. If that were the case, then youth pastors worldwide would be on vacation all year round, every year. The potential youth pastor will need to know how to function well on less sleep, less food, less sanity, getting to know the grace of God very well.

6. ... have nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills...

Actually, These skills aren't needed for pastoring youth... but they definately help.

7. ... love what they do.

This is the most important quality of the potential youth pastor... To love the young people, love the work, love the photocopying, love the bowhunting, love the insanity... At the end of the day, the person who is called to pastor youth, wouldn't want to do anything else in the world. It's all worth it when the potential youth pastor knows thay have made a significant positive impact in a young person's life. What's more rewarding than that?

Do you qualify?


Jason said...

Our young people seem to prefer going to McDeez anyway...namely one person, Miss Delamore

Anonymous said...

Suzy doesn't like McDeez. But the question is, how old is she really and can you consider her to be young?

Natwee said...

Well we all know it's the place to go on a Friday after flame.