Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Youth Pastors Are Not Drill Sargents

Some churches seem to always misunderstand the job of a youth pastor. Some look on them as the one to keep the kids too busy to sin. Other look on them to teach the students to be followers of Jesus, which is true, but only because the parents don't have the time or they want time alone like they are babysitters. One task I think some churches look on youth pastors is the roll of Drill Sargent.

I have been in a few churches as youth pastor where one of my roles was to be a discipliner. When I say discipliner, what that means is to keep the kids in line. It also means when they acted up in church, rebuke them. Instead of being a friend and leader to students, I was expected to be their commanding officer to make sure they were keeping the rules. In my early days of ministry, I thought that was the task of a youth pastor. I was wrong.

Youth pastors are not suppose to be Drill Sargents. They are suppose to be pastors to their student to equip them for the work of ministry in the here-and-now, not the distant future. Yes, there has to be a time when youth pastors have to be discipliners but in a loving way. We need to teach them the Word and model for them to be followers of Christ. It should be the cry of every youth pastor to say to their students as the Apostle Paul told the Corinthian church, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1, NIV).

Youth Pastors are to equip parents to train up their children and encourage them as they raise their kids. Pastors need to be the champion for their youth pastor especially if something goes wrong that is beyond his control, like when a bus breaks down on a youth trip. Churches need to understand their youth pastor is a pastor not a Boys & Girls Club director.

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