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Youth pastors choosing the road less traveled

Jesus called us to be radicals resisting a flawed religious order. It was flawed in his day and in many quarters, it is still in need of reform today. We need to be open to the fact that we have been co-opted by a system that is more concerned with keeping its funders (parents of youth) happy tha…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Jesus called us to be radicals resisting a flawed religious order. It was flawed in his day and in many quarters, it is still in need of reform today. We need to be open to the fact that we have been co-opted by a system that is more concerned with keeping its funders (parents of youth) happy than in actually doing the work to which we were called. While we may have entered the ministry full of idealistic energy, too often we find ourselves not discipling, but organizing.

If you see this, perhaps you’ll be encouraged by the following email I recently received from a youth pastor who is in the process of choosing that narrow road – the radical less-traveled one that Jesus talked about. His email:

“After much prayer, my wife and I decided that now is the time to resign and set out to find a church where we could explore what it could look like to minister to youth without being concerned about how many youth were coming.

Is there a church out there

that doesn’t base success on whether

the youth group has grown?

Is there a pastor who will coach me, and not just turn me loose (as much as I appreciate the trust and freedom that implies)? Is there a pastor (and church leadership) who is willing to explore, and isn’t simply set in stone how ministry should look? On top of this, I want to work with parents to radically disciple students, instead of encouraging aculture of dividing parents from the youth ministry because we’re the professionals andknow better than they how to do it.

That’s going to be a paradigm shift for them and me, as I’ve become a little too comfortable where I am.”

If you’re involved in ministry and have wrestled with these kind of issues, maybe you have some thoughts on this. We need to encourage one another as we swim “contra-correinte” – against the current.

Comments (2)

  • I know of a youth position out there like this, but it is already taken. I’ll post, though, if I ever leave.

    • Paul, so you left your position. Who took your place and will they pursue the same radical course that you did?

Comments are closed.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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