Top 10 Ways to Turn Your Pastor into the Biggest Advocate of Student Ministry: The truth is that very few senior pastors are passionate about student ministry. If they were, they would be student ministry pastors. God has given them a heart and calling to shepherd the entire church, in which student ministry is only a part. If you want them to become a big fan and advocate for student ministry, then it begins with having them become big fan of you. Here are 10 practical ways to build heart strands with your pastor and helps them become a fan of you and student ministry.
4) Be Teachable: We all love the opportunity to impart our great wisdom and insights to others. Remember how great it felt when someone genuinely wanted your opinion. You didn't have to muster up something fake to impress them, they were already impressed and wanted your wisdom. It builds you up, it connects you to them, and is such a gift. With your pastor the same is exactly true, but this time you get to be the one seeking wisdom and insight. When you do this, their confidence grows and their heart strands for you grow as well. For you to do this well, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
- Own your own junk: You are the smartest person in the room and you have very little to learn from someone who is so old and has sold out to the bureaucracy of the church. You may not respect them or their leadership. You have absolutely zero desire to learn about anything except the things you are passionate about. We have have garbage we bring to the table and why we don't want to take on the position of a learner with our pastor. But that is our issue and we need to figure out what it is and then die to it.
- Be the Grasshopper: If you can get your head around the idea that they are the master and you are the student, you will end up being the one who is blessed. Your pastor wants to disciple and wants to impart wisdom. They have been doing this a long time and have thought and prayed and wrestled through a lot of stuff. If you place yourself in a position to learn, these are mistakes that you won't have to make someday. I admit, sometimes it is rough when my pastor gets all excited and begins to "teach" me something I already know, but those experiences are dwarfed by growth in our relationship. All it takes is simply asking good questions and then keeping your mouth shut.
- Learn about things not specifically in your area: Your world is student ministry and that is great. Their world is larger church issues, polity, budget, raising older children. They have very firm convictions and thoughts about baptism, worship styles, leadership strategies. They have to come up with a fresh and life changing sermon every single week. You get to do it a couple times a year and think about how much time and effort you put it in. Pick their brain about how and why they preach on what they preach on. When new staff is hired and fired, ask questions, learn how to be a supervisor. These are all important nuggets for you to grow as a pastor plus there is a benefit of building friendship and loyalty with your pastor in the process.
- You will not be doing youth ministry forever: When you are done with student ministry and if God happens to call you to lead a church, wouldn't it be great to have thought about, wrestled with, and have resources regarding all the issues that will surface in this new position. By being a learner you will be 5-15 years ahead of the curve if you have positioned yourself to be teachable and learn about things besides your current position and passions. If you do this well, you will also have a life long friend and companion in ministry, the old guy or gal who you can call in a pinch and who will give you wise counsel and care when you need it the most.