Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Why the Dichotomy Between Pastoral Ministry and Youth Ministry?

When one thinks about how to be a good and faithful pastor, one would think to read works like The Reformed Pastor by Baxter, Lectures to my Students by Spurgeon, Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson, and so on. But, when one thinks about how to be a good youth pastor one would borrow more from developmental psychology and sociology than books on pastoring. Why is this? And if you are a youth pastor and you try and apply the principles in pastoral books to your youth ministry, you are not respected. If you try and teach sound doctrine (Titus 1:9; Titus 2:1), and preach (2 Timothy 4:2-5), you are not "relational" enough. Why does this dichotomy exist? Why are the standards softer to be a youth pastor than to be a senior pastor?

Looking forward to your thoughts...

8 comments:

Son of Man said...

Seminary is too hard but people still want to have cushy 'ministry' jobs. That is my opinion put as harshly at it possibly could be put. It is overly harsh but ministry is no joke. I think lots of people have no idea what they are getting themselves into or have no idea about what kind of responsibility it is to be a shepherd.

Nick Hill said...

Well said! There is great responsibility and we will have to give an account before God: "But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea" (Matthew 18:6).

tomgee said...

A good point, Nick. A youth pastor should be a _pastor_. The age of most of your flock may change how you carry out some parts of your vocation, but the goals of your ministry should not differ whether you pastor 20 people or 2000.

Have a look at Paul Martin's provocatively-named post on this topic: No More Youth Pastors.

Nick Hill said...

Tom,

I agree with you. I have read Paul Martin's piece and agree with it in a lot of ways, except in doing away with youth pastors. I think rather than do away with youth pastors, we should raise the standard,

Nick

tomgee said...

I don't think Paul meant there shouldn't be youth pastors (maybe I should reread it more closely), but that there should be pastors, some of whom minister primarily to youth.

I think it's good to have a youth pastor, provided he's a pastor first. Which I think was your point too, right?

Nick Hill said...

Yes, that was my point. If that is what Paul was saying, then I agree with him,

Nick

Paul said...

Nick, good point! It seems to me that as pastors we have bought into the false perspective that we are to entertain people rather than fulfill our calling of making disciples. When we buy into this faulty view, we place a higher value on techniques than on the power of the gospel in people's lives. The path of discipleship is not a series of entertaining events that are intended to make us feel good; it is a long journey of learning the joy and contentment of following King Jesus. Evey pastor is called to shepherd people on the journey.

Nick Hill said...

Well said Paul. I am thankful for your wisdom,

Nick