I’ve never been a fan of the Duties Assigned By The Pastor blurb that appears on most youth ministry job descriptions. It’s just a reminder that youth ministers are expected to do everything.
There is nothing wrong with being a team player, but a line like that perpetuates the problem most youth ministers have, which is wearing too many hats.
If you want to be successful and endure in youth ministry you need to know what skills are important. That way you can invest in them properly and continue to have an impact on the next generation.
So, what are those skills? After all there are hundreds that we need to fulfill our duty and the ones assigned to us. While the list is endless here are 5 skills every youth minister needs to embrace:
Your ability to recruit volunteers, attract teens to your programs and win over parents all depends on your ability to capture their attention. That comes from being able to clarify your youth ministry’s purpose:
- With one sentence or in 2 minutes
- Through a one on one conversation
- Using Social Media
- In a power point presentation
Doesn’t matter the medium, being able to tell others why your ministry matters is key. To develop that story you need to:
- Bring it to God and listen to His prompting
- Discuss it with coworkers and your core team to develop clarification
- Test it, analyze it and tweak it
The clearer your story the more effective you will be at making your ministry into a movement.
The healthy of your ministry depends strongly on the health of your team. If you are working solo or not investing in your volunteers then you won’t make it far. Investing in your team means:
- Inviting them to conferences and workshops
- Sharing with them books and resources you using
- Sitting down with them to talk about the ministry and gain their ideas
- Allowing them to take ownership of an area
- Encouraging cross communication amongst volunteers instead of having it go all through you
Your team needs to feel like they are a part of something more. Take their roles seriously and treat them like family.
SOCIAL MEDIA/TECHNOLOGY SAVVINESS
While you can’t keep up with technology you can’t ignore it. In fact if you’ve settled and say, “I’m good with my gmail! I can’t do anything else!” then you’ve lost your desire to grow.
Certain softwares and social media platforms are going increase your effectiveness by saving you time and even money. A few areas that need advance technology is your:
- Attendance tracking
- Communication and marketing strategy
- Training for your volunteers and parents
- Scheduling and time management
How do you know which ones to choose? It will take research and asking other youth ministers for assistance.
Regardless of which products you choose you should take advantage of their tutorials and customer service. And if they don’t have either of those (or they aren’t great) don’t use it.
Whether it’s a parent meeting or giving the message at program you need to make sure you can engage your audience. Public speaking is an opportunity to breathe life into a large audience.
An effective speaker is someone who presents with confidence and awareness. They know who their audience is and how to work through distractions.
Improve your speaking by recording yourself and reviewing it with others (It’s humbling but worth it). Give yourself plenty of time to prepare and make it a priority in your schedule.
While some people are more natural to interacting with others, it’s still important to work on our interpersonal communication. Ministry does not happen in a vacuum and if you cannot handle the ups and downs of your job then you will struggle.
There are workshops, books and a variety of resources that can help you, but the best place to go is a family member (they aren’t afraid to tell you the truth). Ask them to critique you and help you grow. It might be painful at first, but it’s worth the investment.
There is a lot to learn as a youth minister but you shouldn’t overlook these 5 skills. The more we commit to growing the more we will be able to lead.
What other skills would you add to the list?
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