Core Competencies Of The Youth Leader
While reading this article in the past week, I was reminded again of the disposable income of teens in America. Read it. The 35 million teenagers in America control about 250 to 300 billion dollars annually in spending money.
Our culture is mesmerized by Youth. Marketers target them for their money. Organizations covet them for their energy. And government hustles for their votes. And with this infatuation will come a significant opportunity for the Church. Over the past few weeks I have been asked many times about the role of the Youth Pastor/Youth Leader in the American Church. My response has been the same. That I believe the role of the Student Pastor is going to increase with the rise of the importance of Youth in our culture.
It is a pressing fact that Youth are increasing in importance in our day. From marketing and advertising initiatives, the rise of youth entertainment ICONS, and the social media movement, Youth have become the focal point of our American culture. And this is not a small thing. Leveraging the Church's influence over these teens is vital to sustaining the Church's impact upon these teens in the coming decade.
So, here are my general thoughts and qualifications about the kind of Student Leadership that is necessary in the Church:
The Student Pastor must develop all facets of Student Ministries under the Lead Pastor. The internal and external focus and impact begins with the Lead Pastor's vision.
The Student Pastor must have some level of administration and understand systems and programs. This is not the primary competency of the Youth Leader, but, it is important. And if the leader cannot manage these structures, it must be a priority delegated role.
The Student Pastor must create the main vision working with adult and student volunteers. This position is responsible for collaborative planning, coordinating, overseeing, and evaluating the spiritual formation of the students in the ministry.
There are several primary foci the Youth Leader must consider: personal spiritual authority, preaching and teaching, discipleship, leadership development, and relationship and people skills.
There are secondary foci the Youth Leader must consider: These core competencies include small group, event/activity, outreach, cultural and social knowledge, critical thinking skills, and organizational and administrative skills.
The Youth Leader must model personal spiritual integrity through consistent spiritual formation and character development