Youth Ministers Don’t Get No Respect!

by kensneed2 on March 2, 2012

Some observations about Youth Ministers are hurtful

1st Presbyterian Church, Baton Rouge, LA

“He connects well with teenagers because he’s as immature as they are.”

“I sure wish I could get paid for playing with kids all day!”

“Whaddaya mean you didn’t get to the church office till 10 a.m. Monday because you had a fellowship with the kids after church till 11:30?  You gotta get in the real world and get in to the office at 8 a.m. just like the people in your church that have real jobs!?

These and other remarks by adults in the congregation are often hurtful and unrealistic. (The last remark was actually made by the pastor of a large church about his youth Minister!)

Hurtful? Condescending? Unrealistic?  You bet!! 

So here are some ways to establish the respect you deserve:

  • Begin establishing respect by communicating with your pastor, apprising him of youth activities and schedules.
  • Publish your activities and their purposes for the congregation’s and guest’s awareness.
  • Patiently locate an adult of the same gender in the congregation who is respected by others and solicit his or her support as your accountability partner.
  • Have a Youth Advisory Committee that not only assists you in planning, but also acts as a group to which you apprise of your activities and plans so they can help advertise your ministry.
  • Teens PlayingGoof off with the teens, when it’s appropriate.  Be an adult with your committee and the congregation.
  • As a ministering staff member, participate in meaningful ways with the adult ministries when possible — across the age span.
  • Be sure you include the youth group in multigenerational activities with adults, both in recreation and serious ministry.
  • Offer to lead an occasional adult Bible study.
  • Have regular parent’s meeting for the parents of the teens.

Establish Yourself As A Minister

Because Youth Ministers tend to be the youngest staff members, there is an automatic assumption that he or she is immature.

Raising other’s view of you so you’re held in high esteem may mean stepping outside your comfort level to earn that respect.  Take a deep breath and step out on faith.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” — 1 Timothy 4:12

A ministry coach can encourage and guide you as you develop your ministry in your church with respect and appreciation for your work to serve God.  Contact me on the Let Me Hear From You Page at  We can set up a free 30 minute evaluation meeting to determine your needs and the next step for your work. If near Baton Rouge, LA we can do this face-to-face.  Otherwise, we can work by phone and perhaps even meet by Skype.

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