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) Keep Your Ego in Check: If you were brutally honest with yourself, you would agree that you are a pretty big deal. You are amazing and people at your church think you are doing a fantastic job. Whenever you preach you get glowing feedback and you are often juxtaposed from your stodgy boring pastor and their preaching performance. Your circle of influence is impressed with your vision for the church and your strategy to get there. With all the great things you think about yourself combined with others adoration of you and your gifts, it is easy to start to think that maybe you should be the one in charge of this church. If this thought has ever entered your brain, YOU MUST KILL IT!
You were hired to do youth ministry and you are probably doing a great job and others are impressed with the work you are doing. But having people love you as their youth worker and love you to where they want you to split the church and have you take over are two different things. IT IS NEVER OK FOR YOU TO TRY AND TAKE OVER YOUR LEAD PASTOR! They have been called by God and the congregation to do that job and you were hired to do yours. No matter how you justify it in your brain, it is never ok. You are called to support, lift up, encourage, and speak well of your lead pastor. If you are having the burning desire to be "the man" then go somewhere else and give it a try.
While you are working here doing student ministry, your number one task is to be a good partner to your pastor. There is only so much space in the room for ego, and since you are not the top of totem pole, it is good and right to spend some time and effort dying to yours and building up theirs. Here is the most simple way to pull this off:
Speak kindly and warmly about them, ALWAYS:
- Just like you would want people to speak of you in any and every context, you can return the favor by doing this for your pastor. It is in our rebellious nature to always want to tear down the people in charge, but we must fight that urge and build them up and not be a part of others bickering and complaining.
- Remind yourself and your congregation of the best of who your pastor is and never miss an opportunity to share that with your students, with your congregation, and with your friends. They have a deep love for Jesus and for your church, and the people you have influence on, should know that.
- Even if you have to work really hard to muster it up, find it. And if by some chance they really are the problem. . .
If the pastor truly is the problem:
- Whatever you do, do not get caught in the middle of this awful mess. Your pastor is not accountable to you, they are accountable to the elders, session, or board. They will figure out the problem, discipline accordingly, and even let go if they have to. They will have plenty of evidence and information to do this apart from you. Plus if it doesn't happen you have just chopped off your own head and will be quickly looking for another job.
- You were hired to love students, and no matter what chaos is happening in the upper reaches of church polity, this rarely, and I might add, never involves you. Do your job, keep your ego in check, and speak well of your pastor.
No matter the chaos, no matter how good of a youth worker you are, the more you keep your ego in check and build up your pastor, the more their heart for you and your ministry will grow. Good luck with that :)