7 Steps for a New Youth Pastor

new youth pastorYou may be just beginning your new role as a youth worker in a local church.  Or you may need a fresh beginning.  Either way, these seven steps will help you set a solid foundation for future ministry.

Pray – Pray for your new ministry role. Pray for the families and students in your church.  Pray for your leadership team.  Pray for the people in prayer.  Develop a prayer team for yourself, for the ministry and for the church. Meet people for prayer.

Have Conversations – One of the best things you can do as you kick off a new role in student ministry is to have conversations with people of all ages.  Check in with students.  This isn’t a time for survey, although, info is a great by-product.  These conversations are about being a shepherd.  Get to know people’s names.  Find out who is connected to who.  Find out what people have enjoyed and what they want to change.  Find out what brought people to this church in the first place.  Find out what roles people may be interested playing in ministry.

Simplify – Don’t just chop programs, but seek to simplify the needs.  Determine the vision and make it plain and simple for people.  What are the two or three things you want students to do each week?  How do they go about it?  What systems are in place for the congregation to help raise up the next generations of disciples.  Don’t become paralyzed in the complex.  Make things simple.  Simple communication.  Simple instructions.  Simple message.

Clarify – What questions need to be asked?  Why are we doing things this way?  What was the orginal intent?  Does this particular aspect to the ministry still fit in our mission?  What about the budget?  Does it clearly articulate our future goals and dreams?

Organize  – Even if people aren’t sure what they think about a new person in a ministry role, at least they are sure about what’s going on. You don’t have to do lots of changing if you don’t want to, but publicize stuff. Create systems that allow for families to know what is going on and when.  Let structure be your aid as you invite people to be on your team – what are you asking them to do? What is their specific role, etc?

Communicate –  Talk with your pastor or supervisor.  Talk with the families.  Talk with the students.  Keep posts going though social media sites.  Keep clear, concise, creative and consistent communication going. This will help you clarify what you want to get across and it will help people feel like they know what’s happening.  Communicate concrete things – not half baked ideas that you might think about trying some time.

Work hard, but leave room – Leave room for your family, for your life, for your congregation, for your students, for your families, for your vision, for your sabbath and for God to work.  Don’t front load your ministry with doing – pace yourself.

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