A youth pastor is responsible for planning and overseeing a ministry program designed for children within a religious organization. In a youth ministry, children from infancy up to high school age receive spiritual guidance from trained religious leaders and volunteers. Due to the wide range of ages and abilities of the children under their leadership, a youth pastor must be able to quickly adapt to a constantly changing work environment. This type of position is ideal for anyone who desires the opportunity to make a difference within their church and community by taking a leadership role within their spiritual ministry.
General Responsibilities of a Youth Pastor
In a typical day, a youth pastor may meet with other members of their religious organization’s administration to plan activities and events that will further the spiritual growth of their congregation. Youth pastors will also be involved in many of the day-to-day activities that occur in their church’s youth group. They will prepare and give sermons, help with children’s classes and collaborate with members of the children’s music ministry. They may also travel with their youth congregation to complete community service and mission projects.
Typical Work Environments
Most youth pastors will find work within a church or other type of religious organization; however, many schools and non-profits also include a youth pastor on their team who can ensure that children receive spiritual guidance while in their program. Generally, a youth pastor will work indoors within an office or sanctuary environment. They may also work outdoors during special events, mission trips and youth outings.
Qualifications for Becoming a Youth Pastor
Most religious organizations require a youth pastor to have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree in ministry to be considered for employment; however, many youth pastors find that a master’s degree in divinity or a related field provides them with the education they need to be successful in this position. Many youth pastors have also spent time in service to their community while building a reputation as a person committed to the spiritual development and well-being of their community.
How to Become a Pastor
After completing their education, many youth pastors will find work as a volunteer or intern in their preferred field. They may also work alongside a youth pastor who will serve as a mentor while they develop their experience as a youth pastor. Once they have gained experience, they may apply for an open position for a youth pastor in their preferred organization. Often, a youth pastor may work for a trial period before becoming officially named the youth pastor of their children’s ministry.
Working as a youth pastor enables a person to enjoy the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the children they mentor. Throughout their service, a youth pastor will be called upon to develop and implement programs that will nurture the spirituality of the youth in their congregation. Anyone who seeks a leadership position within their church or organization and enjoys working with youth will find that a position as a youth pastor can lead to a rewarding career.