When an individual of immense spiritual devotion seeks to spread his faith unto future generations, a career in youth ministry may be a great option. This is because youth ministry jobs offer a way for the church to prepare future generations for a life of active faith by passing down the core tenants of Christian belief systems.
Key aspects of a vital adolescent ministry include education, worship, prayer, evangelism, fellowship, spiritual growth, and other integral components of religious worship and education. It is a way that the youth may be responsibly incorporated into the faith community as active, conscious participants.
Characteristics of Youth Ministers
Youth ministry jobs require role models who radiate a high level of personal religious devotion and compassion for the future of the church and upbringing of its youth. This person should have the desire and ability to reach individuals aged 19 and younger, while also proving himself willing to serve long hours in active fellowship as a leader, motivator, teacher and role model. This is a demanding career that proves immensely rewarding for those suited for the challenge. The passion must be there for an effective ministry, however.
Youth ministers can more effectively inspire and develop the spiritual lives of the congregation’s youth by actively developing their own spiritual strength and focus. As a result, effective ministers schedule daily time for prayer and meditation. Continual participation in conferences, classes and retreats are also expected, as the ministers should perpetually study and develop personal faith and understanding.
Research and writing skills are a major part of a youth minister’s job, just as is his ability to effectively teach and inspire youth. The ability to engage listeners when speaking is another crucial feature. Finally, enthusiastic energy also proves beneficial.
A Youth Minister’s Job
Youth ministers guide and correspond with youth members, parents, volunteers, and church staff. These interactions occur in varied forms and include emails, phone calls, physical meetings and events. They plan fundraisers, educational lessons and programs, excursions and research. They also actively work with church leadership to coordinate goals and schedules, while keeping updated with church news, emergencies and directives.
The youth minister has a schedule packed with evening and weekend activities, in addition to any daytime responsibilities. The weekends and evenings are filled with youth group meetings, parent meetings, youth events, fundraisers, Sunday School, and other related options. A passion for this calling makes the long hours and busy weeks feel more like an opportunity than a burden, however.
Becoming a Youth Minister
There are many routes and tips to help in becoming a youth minister. Volunteering with the local church can be helpful, as can any experience working with adolescent groups. A proven track record of successfully working with adolescents helps in proving and developing the skills needed to effectively reach young members of the congregation.
There are several degrees that could qualify an individual to work in this field. Common bachelor’s degrees include degrees in ministry, religious studies, Bible studies and theology. A youth ministry degree is another viable option. A youth ministry degree may be obtained from an accredited university or a seminary. Some denominations will specifically require a youth minister complete seminary, so it is important to check with the guidelines established for the desired church. While finishing the necessary coursework, completing an internship or volunteer work is a useful strategy to build upon one’s experiences related to this prospective career.
Once coursework has been completed and an individual is getting ready to find stable employment in the youth ministry sector, it is often necessary to become ordained. The exact requirements to become ordained depends on the specific church of denomination, so it will be important to educate oneself on the guidelines set forth by the ruling body of the denomination in question.