My good friend and former classmate Chris Brown left this little piece of advice in the comments on one of my recent posts:
One small suggestion I’d give is that youth pastors need to regularly have a larger role in worship on Sunday mornings, including preaching, thus displaying a connection to the so-called “real” ministry and letting the congregation know that they’re a lot more than babysitters.
I think Chris raises a good point here – if worship is the central act of the congregation (which is the case is the vast majority of churches I’ve been in) providing leadership in this area would help change people’s view of the “youth pastor”.
I would assume that in my role as “youth pastor” the fact that I preach at least once a month and have some role leading worship every week shapes how people understand what I do as “Youth Pastor”. While I agree with Chris, I think his first suggestion about preaching is the most important.
In Presbyterian circles preaching is the most important element in the worship service. Everything ascends toward it, and everything that follows flows from it. When we seek new pastors we do a “neutal pulpit” where we get to hear them preach, and then when a pastor canidates for a job they preach. I’m not sure how many “youth pastors” are really interested in preaching in front of the whole congregation (especially non-ordained ones) and I’m not sure how many senior pastors want to give up that task.
Just a thought. Off to the second to last day of YS!