“The Indispensable Youth Pastor” book by Mark Devries and Jeff Dunn-Rankin offers invaluable information to persons involved in ministry work that targets the youthful population. It is indeed a life-changing book especially for individuals who are still new in the youth ministry work.
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For instance, there are a number of key considerations that a prospective youth minister should bear in mind before embarking on this type of ministry call (Devries and Dunn-Rankin 2011, 65). For instance, it is necessary to understand how a youth pastor position can be secured.
It is vital to mention searching for a pastoral job is usually the first step for young pastors. As much as pastor-hood is a call, individuals who are interested to work as youth pastors must search for the available jobs in this category. It is similar to seeking any other type of work in a real marketplace environment.
After the pastoral job has been obtained, it is vital to mention that a healthy start enables a youth pastor to begin the spiritual career on a smooth lane. Working with youths can be a challenging task to undertake (Devries and Dunn-Rankin 2011, 84).
In the last section of the book, the authors address the importance of developing passion and interest for the new job as a youth pastor. The three sections of the book typically address the formal procedures that any other job seeker is supposed to follow.
Whereas pastor-hood is a spiritual call to serve God and humanity, the rest of the requirements and duties of an employee are comparatively the same. Every youth pastor can benefit a lot from this book.
In addition, the insights offered in the book are practical in nature since they can be easily followed by the targeted readers. All the major seasons in the youth ministry have been addressed in the book.
It is interesting to learn that the spiritual growth of the youthful generation demands a lot of commitment and Godly intervention. Young people are energetic beings who may still be interested to dissipate their energies in other activities.
Although some of these activities may be healthy for their spiritual and physical growths, youth pastors have the sole and holistic responsibility to oversee the individual development patterns of their flocks.
The valuable practical and true stories that have been incorporated in the storyline of the book offer the best platform for a youth pastor to teach, guide and correct young people. Youth pastors can easily find meaning from the examples provided in the book.
From the above brief summary, it is obvious that training and capacity building for youth pastors are crucial moves that cannot be ignored. For instance, I have come to understand that ministry work demands a lot of commitment on a daily basis.
Youth pastors need to learn and accommodate the wide diversity of young people whom they deal with in course of the ministry work.
As much as spiritual development is the main objective in this case, it may not be possible to achieve the goal if youth pastors do not comprehend other development factors that affect spiritual growth. Youth ministers should be trained and well equipped to handle their ministry work effectively.
Sustainable youth ministries that can leave lasting positive impacts on society can only be established through adequate capacity building of youth pastors. In my ministry work, I have observed that youth pastors who excel in their calling do not relent to seek further education and knowledge.
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Although the rate of turnaround in this category of ministry work is slightly below four years, it does not imply that there is less work to be done.
Most of the youth pastors who have abandoned ministry work often argue that it is too demanding to work in a church environment. Some of them posit that that ministry work lacks adequate support for the individual ministers and therefore, it makes the whole calling a real burden to bear.
The turnover rate among youth pastors is equally high. Although youth pastors who are still young tend to face most of the challenges, it does not mean that they cannot remain committed.
Youth pastors should not expect churches to be 100% perfect. At one point or the other, they should be ready to face challenging moments. It is possible to grow along with the vision of God as a youth pastor even in a work environment with multiple odds.
I have also noted that unrealistic expectation is a major setback among several young youth pastors. There is need for the ministers of the word of God to understand the working mechanism of the church and also acknowledge various limitations that they may encounter in ministry work.
In other words, they should not mount unrealistic expectations as youth pastors. At first, the returns may not be impressive. However, the working ground is gradually established with the passage of time.
Finally, the number of years that a youth pastor has served the church does not really matter when it comes to dedicated service for God. An individual evolution from a spiritually novice minister to a fully responsible personality is a critical component in the youth ministry work.
Devries, Mark, and Dunn-Rankin Jeff. 2011. The Indispensable Youth Pastor”: Land, Love, and Lock in Your Youth Ministry Dream Job. New York: Group Publishing.