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Why Youth Pastors Must Be Gifted to Teach God's Word

More Than a Chaperone

Historically, churches have had a false paradigm for what youth ministry should look like. Unfortunately, people have seen the function of youth ministry as getting kids in the door and keeping them out of trouble. So as a result, churches may hire a youth pastor to be a gatherer—a pied piper.

With that being said, a lot of times churches will hire a youth pastor who doesn’t necessarily have a mature faith in Christ and who’s not necessarily knowlegeable about discipling young people.

A youth pastor is a leader and a teacher of God’s Word.

Students of God's Word

We need to abolish the paradigm of youth pastor as pied piper, and we need to help churches understand that a youth pastor is a leader and a pastor—a teacher of God’s Word. In the same way that a senior pastor is expected to be a student of God’s Word and a person who spends time in exegesis and interpretation, a youth pastor is to dedicate himself to biblical study. His ministry is to a different segment of the congregation, but he is still a leader and a teacher of God’s Word.

Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry

Cameron Cole, Jon Nielson

This comprehensive handbook looks at every facet of youth ministry from a gospel-centered perspective, offering practical advice related to everything from planning short-term mission trips to interacting with parents to cultivating healthy relationships.

We need to rebuild the paradigm of what a youth pastor is meant to be. Pastors and parents need help understanding the role—particularly pastors, because their temptation is to appease the fears of parents. Parents really just want their kids to go to church, stay out of trouble, and not do anything self-destructive by the time they’re nineteen.

Pastors need to help parents have a vision for discipleship ministry—what it looks like to form children into followers of Jesus with lasting, sustainable faith. So if that’s the end goal, then a youth pastor needs to be a person who knows how to read, interpret, and teach God’s word.

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