10 Qualities Of A Great Youth Pastor

Thomas CostelloChurch Leadership Leave a Comment

It’s not always easy being a youth pastor. In fact, most church members and parents look to youth pastors to be one of the biggest role models in their children’s lives.

With expectations so high, it’s vital to find a great youth pastor to lead the youth in your church. Part of the search is finding one that meshes well with your church family. The other part is looking for the unique qualities that set great youth pastors apart from the rest.

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know to help you find a youth pastor, and the top 10 qualities you should look for in potential candidates. Ready to learn more?

Let’s jump in.

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Finding a Youth Pastor

Finding a Youth Pastor

It is a youth pastor’s job to lead, teach, and inspire the next generation of Christians. That is a tall order! Building a thriving youth ministry is hard, and finding a good youth pastor for the job is even harder. Before we jump into our top 10 list of youth pastor qualities to look for, let’s break down the difficulties of youth ministry and how you might go about finding the right youth leaders for the job.

Problems Faced in Youth Ministry

Youth ministry faces several challenges. One major problem is keeping youth engaged. In a world full of distractions, it’s hard to make church activities exciting. Another issue is lack of support from church leaders. Without their backing, youth pastors can feel isolated and overwhelmed. Additionally, understanding and teaching God’s word in a way that connects with young people can be tough. Youth pastors need the Holy Spirit’s guidance to communicate effectively.

Another problem is limited resources. Many youth ministries have small budgets and not enough volunteers. This makes it hard to organize events and trips that attract young people. Also, youth today face many personal issues like mental health struggles, peer pressure, and family problems. Addressing these needs requires time, patience, and sometimes professional help.

To overcome these challenges, it’s essential to seek God’s vision for the youth ministry. This means praying regularly and asking for guidance from the Holy Spirit in all decisions. Engaging church leaders in the ministry’s mission is also crucial. When leaders support and understand the youth ministry, it can thrive. Building a strong, supportive community within the church can make a big difference in solving these problems and helping young people grow in their faith.

Where to Find a Youth Pastor

Finding a youth pastor candidate involves several approaches. Start by asking your church’s leadership team for recommendations. They might know someone suitable through their own connections. Advertise the position on church job boards and websites. Use social media to reach a broader audience. Posting on Christian job sites can also attract potential candidates.

Consider reaching out to local seminaries or Bible colleges. These institutions often have students or graduates with a seminary degree looking for ministry roles. Another option is to network with other churches and pastors. They might know someone looking for a youth pastor position.

It’s important to look for candidates who have a strong relationship with God and a passion for youth ministry. Evaluate their ability to connect with young people and their own relationship with God. A candidate with a solid faith and leadership skills can inspire and guide the youth in your church effectively.

How to Craft a Youth Pastor Job Description

How to Craft a Youth Pastor Job Description

So let’s say you want to start reaching out and finding this important youth pastor. You need a job description. A list of things to help you narrow down your search and filter specific candidates. Thankfully for you, crafting a youth pastor job description can be straightforward. It might look something like this:

1. Job Title: Clearly state the position as “Youth Pastor.”

2. Purpose: Briefly describe the role’s main goal, like leading and mentoring the youth.

3. Responsibilities:

  • Plan and lead youth activities and events.
  • Teach Bible lessons and organize group discussions.
  • Provide spiritual guidance and support.
  • Recruit and train volunteers.
  • Collaborate with the church leadership team.

4. Qualifications:

  • Strong relationship with God.
  • Experience in youth ministry.
  • Ability to connect with young people.
  • Good communication and organizational skills.
  • Relevant education or training in theology or ministry.

5. Expectations:

  • Regular attendance at church services.
  • Participation in church events and meetings.
  • Commitment to the church’s mission and values.

6. Application Process:

  • Include instructions on how to apply.
  • List required documents like a resume, cover letter, and references.

By following these steps, you can create a clear and effective youth pastor job description. If you want an in-depth, comprehensive guide to building a complete youth pastor job description, check out this article.

10 Best Youth Pastor Qualities

10 Best Youth Pastor Qualities

Now that we’ve covered steps to help you in your search for a youth pastor, let’s dive into some of the qualities you will want to be looking for in a youth pastor. When we look at other youth pastors or other youth ministries that are successful, what do we see? We’ve gathered our list of the top 10 qualities we think are important in a youth leader.

Let’s explore.

1. Incredible People Skills

Having incredible people skills goes hand in hand with being any type of effective pastor. As a youth pastor, people skills are even more important. Teens are going through a wide variety of changes in their lives. From social to physical changes, it’s tricky to navigate their ups and downs without making them feel any more uncomfortable than they already are.

Youth pastors have to know how to interact with teens to become not just a leader, but a friend. Of course, they also have to deal with questions and concerns from parents with ease.

2. Intimate Bible Knowledge

This one should be a given. However, there’s an extra level here. A youth pastor not only needs to know the Bible inside and out, but they should also know how to explain it in a way that relates to today’s youth. During a standard sermon, adults probably aren’t going to ask too many questions. Kids and teens aren’t that shy. They always have questions and doubts. Youth pastors must know the Bible well enough to effectively explain and answer those questions.

3. Organizational Skills

Just because the youth seem disorganized, it doesn’t mean they want a leader that’s the same way. To keep track of everything going on, a youth pastor needs to stay organized. From having a favorite tool for tracking everything to knowing what to do to keep a group of teens in line, organization is crucial. It’s also why nearly every job listing for a youth pastor lists organizational skills as a requirement.

4. Updated Cultural Knowledge

Updated Cultural Knowledge

Odds are, most of your adult members aren’t quite as attached to today’s cultural issues as today’s youth. It’s easy to just focus on Bible studies. However, with youth ministry, you need to understand the cultural issues affecting the youth you’re leading. A great youth pastor not only understands the Bible, but keeps up with cultural issues and trends and uses the Bible to help guide their groups through various issues and struggles.

5. Creativity

Kids sit in classrooms five days a week. When the weekend comes, they’re tired of being talked to. They want a youth pastor that goes beyond telling them to do this or that. It takes creativity to break through and make kids pay attention, especially with teens. Without thinking outside the box a little, a youth pastor won’t be successful.

6. Easily Communicate

The way you talk with kids and teens is much different than with adults. Youth pastors have to be able to communicate easily with all ages. They must be incredible listeners and work to understand the needs of the kids in their care.

7. Patience

Even though every other trait and skill on this list is important, one of the most important might be patience. A great youth pastor deals with a group of kids without losing their temper. Even when 10 voices start yelling out questions at once, youth pastors must know how to be patient, calm down the group and still answer all the questions. By showcasing patience, kids and teens respect the youth pastor more, making them more effective at their job.

8. Engaging Teaching Skills

Engaging Teaching Skills

Every child learns differently and it’s important for a youth pastor to appeal to those varying needs. Having an engaging teaching style is vital to grabbing and keeping the attention of kids and teens. As said before, the youth in youth ministry spend hours in classrooms all week. They’re not eager to pay attention to a boring sermon or lecture.

Instead, an engaging talk about current cultural events, how it affects them and what the Bible says about it all works better. A great youth pastor constantly learns new techniques for engaging kids. It’s through these techniques that kids build better relationships with God, their family and friends.

9. Flexibility

Flexibility is an important quality for a youth pastor. It means being able to adapt to different situations and changes easily. In youth ministry, things don’t always go as planned. Activities might need to change at the last minute, or unexpected issues could arise with the youth. A flexible pastor can handle these changes calmly and find solutions quickly.

Flexibility also involves being open to new ideas. Youth culture changes rapidly, and a flexible pastor stays updated and adjusts programs to keep them relevant and engaging. This might mean trying out new activities, using different teaching methods, or incorporating technology into lessons.

Moreover, flexibility helps in dealing with the diverse needs of young people. Every youth is different, and being able to adapt one’s approach to meet their individual needs is crucial. A flexible youth pastor creates an environment where all youth feel welcome and supported, fostering their growth in faith.

10. Strong Relationship with God

A strong relationship with God is essential for a youth pastor. It means having a deep and personal connection with God through prayer, Bible study, and worship. This relationship is the foundation for everything a youth pastor does. When a youth pastor is close to God, they can better guide and inspire the youth in their faith.

We mentioned intimate biblical knowledge earlier on this list. Someone can know the most about theology but still not have a relationship with God. We believe your youth pastor should have both.

Having a strong relationship with Jesus Christ involves regular communication with Him. This includes praying daily, reading and meditating on the Bible, and seeking God’s guidance in all decisions. It also means living a life that reflects Christian values, setting an example for the youth to follow.

This connection with God provides strength and wisdom, especially in challenging times. It helps the youth pastor stay grounded and focused on their mission. When the youth see their pastor’s genuine faith, it encourages them to build their own relationship with God, growing stronger in their spiritual journey.

Youth Pastors

In conclusion, a youth pastor plays a pivotal role in shaping the spiritual lives of young people. By embodying qualities such as people skills, creativity, and a strong relationship with God, a youth pastor can effectively connect with and mentor youth, fostering their growth in faith. These qualities enable the pastor to create a welcoming and supportive environment, addressing the diverse needs of the youth while adapting to the ever-changing cultural landscape.

We hope this article has given you everything you need to go out there and find the best youth pastor you can! We believe in faith that you will find the person you need for the job, and that you will see fruit in your youth ministry. God bless!

P.S. If your church is searching for a great youth pastor, start by posting the most important traits on your church’s site. It’ll make it easier for potential youth pastors to find your church.

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