If you are a youth minister, or ever was one, you may remember the idea you had, the dream you developed, when you began your journey into the trenches known as Youth Ministry.

That dream being that you were, one day, going to have 100 or so students packed into a large facility because you had the coolest youth program in town.

Being a small-church youth minister myself, I had that dream once.  I, then, began to compare my smallish ministry to the large ministries that were in the same area.  I coveted the large facilities, the massive budgets, and maybe even the large salaries.  It took me a little over 6 years of vocational youth ministry to finally realize that I don’t need that dream to come true and that I am in one of the greatest positions I could ask for; a small-church youth ministry.

I love being a small-church youth minister because…

1. It’s relational…

Because of the smallish amount of students that attend our youth ministry, I am able to build relationships with every single one of them and their families.  I can know what is going on in the lives of each student.  I can pray for each student by name and know exactly who it is I’m praying for.  I can be a part of each student’s achievements and life accomplishments.  I can be present with each student that is dealing with tragedy or brokenness.  I don’t have to limit my time with them but be able to invest more time into each student.  I have a great opportunity to be a part of their lives.

I also have an awesome opportunity to partner with their parents.  If youth ministry begins with the family, and the parents are the spiritual providers, then our jobs as the youth minister is not to take that place, but is instead to partner with them in how to bring worship back into the family.  Being a small-church youth minister makes that possible.

2. It’s investable…

The best part about youth ministry is not just investing in the lives of the students, but investing in the lives of other adults who can go alongside you, ministering to the same students you do!  The greatest strategy that can be implemented within a youth ministry is developing a leadership team that can minister to the same students as you, in case you leave, so that there is a leadership team set up that can keep things going.

You can build relationships all day long.  If there is no investment in those relationships, then there is no ministry.  Investing means suffering with them and celebrating with them.  Investing means spiritually discipling them and maybe even spiritually discipling them as the Church is called to do.  When we begin to invest, we begin to open up ways in which we can point people to Jesus.  If we don’t invest, we fail.

3. It’s relatable…

Small-church youth ministry is relatable to the ministry that Jesus had with the disciples.  The New Testament shows us how He preached to the multitudes but disciples the disciples.  Jesus did life with these guys.  He invested much time in them, showing them who He was.  We must be doing the same.  Jesus was relational and He invested in these guys to train them to disciple others! With small-church youth ministry, we have the awesome opportunity to do the same!

So, be encouraged in knowing that God has probably called you to a small-church youth ministry for a greater purpose than you think! Also, if you are a large-church youth minister, this isn’t meant to offend, but to encourage!

2 thoughts on “Why I Love Being A Small-Church Youth Pastor

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