A Youth Pastor's Job Description (1)
It seems that YTH Ministry questions and interest run in waves. Often times because of a news cycle or series of events happening around the world. For several years now I have been answering a lot of racial and diversity questions in YTH Ministry sessions. And then early back in 2018 there were many leaders who were trying to develop a response to crisis or hardship such as violence or school shootings. No doubt, each of these were motivated by what has been going on in our nation.
And now lately, I am getting a lot of inquiries on the Job Description of a Youth Pastor. This is good. Because without clarity it will be difficult to identify outcomes or wins. So, here is a look at developing your own personal Job Description (JD).
Below you will find my personal JD that I have used for many years. You can use this template or starter document to develop your own JD. You will need to add specific duties and responsibilities that are required for you in your setting. This is more of a general description of the position. Take this outline and fill in each area with a more contextual description of YTH Ministry for your setting.
Youth Ministry Job Description Template
Other Titles: Student Ministry Pastor, Next Gen Director, Youth Pastor, Youth Director
(A statement of mission that guides why you are in youth leadership. Be clear. Make sure that it is demonstrative and colorful by using radiant words or adjectives. And it should reflect your own personal philosophy or model of how you will do ministry. This should not be longer than a sentence or two.)
Here is my personal Ministry Philosophy that I have used for 35 years:
"I will lead my family and teenagers to Christ through my radical lifestyle of love, prayer, worship, and preaching."
Personal Life Disciplines
(This is the calling and personal spiritual discipline statement of the elements involved in leading the most difficult person - yourself. These spiritual disciplines will be what create integrity in you for everyone to see and make it possible for them to follow you. Create this section with at least 5 spiritual disciplines that you will seek to grow in.)
-Managing my own calling and spiritual formation through reading, prayer, worship, fasting, giving, service, encouragement, and administration. These spiritual disciplines will be at the center of my focus and development as a person and a youth pastor.
(I don’t believe that we can fulfill the calling of God upon our lives unless we are baptized in love and acceptance for people. There is no greater characteristic trait of a minister than love. You may use something else. But this is a central descriptive part of my JD as a youth pastor.)
-Unconditional love is the most important job description of a youth pastor. The characteristic trait of love that is displayed in my relationship as a youth pastor to my family, the Church, my students, adults, and the community I live in.
(When we get down to the identity of it, creating a culture in youth ministry begins with vision. This is what I want to accomplish in the youth ministry. In this section come up with the DNA or the vibe or the culture of what you want your youth ministry to look like.)
-As a presence-based youth ministry, the spiritual formation and theology of the youth ministry will take place through preaching & teaching biblical principles by using methods like loving relationships, the youth service, small groups, outreach, and discipleship structures. When a student leaves the youth ministry they will be able to understand the basics of Christianity, including these 5 things: The Ten Commandments, The Sermon on the Mount, The Gifts of the Spirit, The Fruit of the Spirit, and a basic understanding of Eschatology.
(This section is the relationship of the youth pastor to the Church - the Lead Pastor, the staff and the congregation.)
-As only a part of the overall Church, I will seek to maintain healthy Church Team relationships by being committed to the vision of the Lead Pastor and honoring and supporting the Church Team. This includes being present in staff meetings, building relationships with the Church Team, fulfilling office hours and assignments given to me, and having a whole Church mentality. The ultimate success of being a youth pastor will be my impact on the whole Church and not just the youth ministry.
Youth Leadership Team
(In this section emphasis should be placed on the development of the youth ministry leadership team. As a part of this JD every youth pastor should consider both adult and student volunteer leaders.)
-Total youth ministry success will depend upon the adult and student leadership team development. At the center of this will be regular weekly meetings, team discipleship, personal mentoring, recruiting of leaders, and retention of leaders. Included in this leadership team emphasis will be a variety of leadership training tools, delegation of the leaders, and placement of each leader within their core competency for maximum affect.
(The example that Christ gave to believers was to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. An ultimate goal of youth ministry is to not only be a discipleship ministry, but also, an evangelistic one. How a youth ministry conducts itself in public is critical to its impact on the community that God calls us to reach.)
-The youth ministry should pro-actively seek a working relationship with para-Church, school and campus leadership, denominational relationships and resources, benevolence/humanitarian needs, missions, coaching opportunities, and other outside avenues.
(For too long youth ministry has had a reputation of being unorganized. And in most cases that has been warranted. Every youth pastor should seek to develop a team of leaders around them with varying gifts and talents who can create a structured setting that can house the move of God desired in a place.)
-The organization and administration responsibilities of the youth ministry are what creates the possibility of God’s work lasting and having the most impact. Attention to such things as structures, systems, office management, filing, roster, attendance, event-planning, follow-up, service mechanics, and other program essentials are necessary for overall effectiveness. I will increase my own competency in these areas and bring people around me who can strengthen each of these areas for maximum outcome.
Clarity cannot be overstated. Dan Reiland, the leadership guru, says that one of the top reasons a volunteer leaves an organization is because “they didn’t know what was expected of them”. I believe the same kind of frustration can overtake a youth pastor who has no measureables. A simple Job Description provides leaders the clarity needed to assure wins and a plan by which to assess their progress. Organizational success is a direct by-product of Job Descriptions because they establish a real vision for the outcome of a youth pastor’s work.