Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Friday, May 05, 2006

What Do Youth Ministers Do?

I am one of those who check their site meters to see how many people visit and what they search for to get to my blog. I admit it.

However, I loved this search: What do youth ministers to and what are the requirements?

Now, I'm not sure if it's a pastor searching because he is thinking of hiring a youth minister, it may be a mad parent who doesn't agree with the youth minister and is looking for ammunition, it might be a young student or second career person who is interested in pursuing the lofty (and underpaid, at least cash-wise) career of "youth minister".

Well, many of us seem to start off with what it is not: It is not a fun and games leader. That is part of it, but certainly not all of it. It is not a parent-at least in my opinion it shouldn't be. It is not a high school student-they can be leaders in the group but are not older enough than their peers to be a youth minister. Frankly, it's not even someone with good intentions.

Here is what I think a youth minister needs to have, and what pastors need to be looking for and what parents should make sure their parish is hiring some with:

1. Evidence of a close relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. (notice the use of the word "his".) While many are afraid to ask due to restricting laws, I would love it if the interviewing committee and pastor would ask about my faith life. It gives ME a clue as well, as to where the staff are coming from. If they don't care to ask, how important is it to them?

2. A degree. If not in theology, catechetics or the social sciences. Really, I think that a degree in Theology is paramount. You need to know the faith before you can teach it.

3. Graduation from a reputable Catholic University. Ok, some graduates from Franciscan, my beloved alam mater, are idiots. They come off like arrogant dufus' -they know more than the pope, apparently. However, they will learn in time that their pride doesn't pay off so I still think that they are a good hire. Besides now that FUS has the Catechetics program more graduate are going into ministry with a more humble and willing spirit. Praise God!

4. Experience in ministry, even if it's volunteer minister, as well as customer service. Look for people who have served in various ways. Having been a volunteer helps you to know how to treat and use volunteers. It also forms a more cooperative and willing spirit.

5. Can articulate the 8 Components of Youth Ministry and how to formulate a comprehensive youth program.

6. Have a down -to-earth personality that is easy to be around. Kids don't take kindly to demanding, hyper-sensitive, self-involved or pompous people. Neither do parents. You have to have a back bone, but you can't live for yourself.

Am I missing anything?


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