A Youth Pastor's Job Description (2)
Are you stuck? Frustrated? Do you feel like you are making no progress? Do you feel like a failure?
All of us have been there before. And, often, the solution is very simple. Sometimes YTH Ministry success is an easy solution. I believe one of those solutions is a Job Description. A clearly defined document that outlines what success is. Without the clarity of a Job Description, it will be difficult to identify outcomes or wins. And if you know what the win is, then you will have something to measure your progress by.
I want to take the 8 elements that we discussed last week and make them more practical so that you can apply them to your life and setting. Take some time and create a clear strategy in your YTH Ministry in each of these areas:
(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
-Use flowery and adjective language
-Make sure the statement is genuine to your personal characteristics and traits
-Make sure that everything you do is centered around this statement
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.)
-List the spiritual disciplines that you want to guide your own faith formation
-Work at these spiritual disciplines on a weekly basis
-Set up a daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and lifetime schedule that makes these disciplines a priority
(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.)
-Can you identify one word that will encapsulate your life and ministry? It is the one word that everyone will notice about you when you wake up.
-Let this word be a daily anthem, language, and thought habit
-Identify how you will measure that word toward yourself, the students, their families, your Lead Pastor, the Church staff, the congregation, and the community
(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.)
-Every thing that we do is to bring this vision - for me, the vision was His presence
-Things such as office habits, relationships, services, small groups, events, meetings, and leadership sessions must each be for the purpose of God’s presence so that no matter what we are about to do, God will be in it.
-Make the majority of your time about His presence and not about the programs
-Make sure that you plan for PRAY and PLAY. Kids want to do both. But do not mix the two.
-What are the elements that you want every student and leader to learn by the time they leave the YTH Ministry? Last week I gave you mine. Make a list of those non-negotiables for you and include them in your vision.
*We don’t have the money like Disney or the resources like DreamWorks or pull off games like Nickelodeon. Just a fact. But the one thing that we can offer students is the presence of God. That is free. And that will not have to be re-invented or improved.
(This section is the relationship of the youth pastor to the Church - the Lead Pastor, the staff and the congregation.)
-Healthy Church Team relationships take time together - outside of the office
-Pray for the staff team regularly. And tell them you are praying for them.
-Regularly speak to Staff team, report to paradigm leaders, communicate problems and solutions, offer help with larger all-church assignments, and share wins in the office setting
-Include your office hours, communicate to staff if leaving the office, be early/on time for meetings, and post weekly scheduled day off
-Make sure that you are building relationships with adults in the Church in the corporate setting
-Connect with Deacons and Elders often
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. Healthy YTH Leaders create healthy YTH Ministry.)
-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 adult and student leaders, and retention of adult and student leaders
-Create a variety of leadership training tools such as a YTH library or resource in your office to help with training (books, videos, podcasts, articles, social media accounts to follow, or other resources that leaders can use)
-Delegation of duties and placement within the core competency of the leaders for maximum affectiveness
(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 (FCA, Young Life, Campus Crusade, Inter-Varsity, First Priority, etc.
-School and campus leadership connection (administration, faculty, staff, counselors, students, and coaches)
-Denominational relationships and resources
-Government, NGO’s or benevolence/humanitarian needs, missions, and glocal strategy
-Area clergy association relationship or other outside avenues with the Church
(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.)
-Create a YTH Ministry flow chart of the ministries and leaders involved in the YTH Ministry (YP, Staff, adult and student leaders, volunteers)
-Delegate to an Administrator the maintenance of the structure, systems, office management, filing, roster, attendance, event-planning, follow-up, service mechanics, and other program essentials
-Communication of each of these elements should be done cyclically, and, include an inner circle of managers who are completely informed of all details in the YTH Ministry and share in the communication and promotion of YTH Ministry culture
Ultimate Organizational Success
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. Through this clearly stated document, it will be easy to define the win and assess YTH Ministry progress.