Youth Pastors have a very important and challenging position in the church and kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God, most spiritual births (75 t0 80 %) occur before age 20. In the church, they are responsible for the spiritual discipleship and evangelism of preteens and teenagers during their most dynamic and difficult decade of life. The physical, emotional, and social changes experience between ages ten and twenty are enormous. The expectations of youth pastors by senior pastors and parents are also enormous and high.
Building personal relationships with teens in the church youth group and helping them navigate friend and family relationships is a large order and job description. All in addition to building good relations with the senior pastor, volunteer youth workers, and parents. Youth leaders often have a spouse and children requiring love and attention. Teens are trying to respond to their parents, teachers, coaches, and friends while dealing with the physical, emotional, and sexual changes of adolescence. School, sports, clubs, home responsibilities, social media, and computer games are all competing with youth pastors for teen’s time and attention. Building and helping navigate relationships takes time and attention, but both are limited for teens and youth pastors.
Born again youth pastors must receive have support and encouragement from born again parents and from born again teens to build a successful youth ministry. Many teens attending church youth ministries are infants in their faith and must receive spiritual milk. More mature born again teens must share and lead the spiritually younger teens. Sharing spiritual birthday celebrations and stories of spiritual birth and journey by born again teens can help others come to faith or in their spiritual growth.
Youth pastors are on the front line in the battle for teen’s souls. The battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil. The government and courts have taken God and prayer out of public schools. The worldview taught in schools and universities does not recognize our Creator or Ten Commandments. The scriptural teachings and values of marriage, family and life itself have been devalued and denied. Many teens are questioning or abandoning the truths taught in their Christian home or church.
Church leaders, including senior pastors, must recognize and support born again youth pastors as they labor and lead the youth of the church. Evangelism and outreach to teens and their families must be a high priority for born again youth pastors, born again parents, and born again teens. Spiritual births must be an expectation and goal of youth ministry. Rejoicing and celebrating spiritual birthdays will help maintain and grow born again teens into mature Christians.