A Few Things Every Parent Should Know About Youth Ministry

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Youth Ministry is probably the best job ever.  We get to play video games all day, leave the office at 2PM after taking a 2 hour lunch, and we almost never have to buy our own food on the weekends because we can just order pizza with the Church credit card.  We only have to do real work on Sundays – even then, it’s pretty easy!

That’s what a lot of people think youth ministry is.  As awesome as that sounds, it’s not an accurate description of youth ministry.  Believe it or not, youth ministry is more than games, pizza, and glorified babysitting. Here are a few things I wish every parent knew about youth ministry:

1) Youth ministry is a lot of work. We almost always work 5 days a week.  We’re on call 24/7.  There is a ton of work that goes into making an event, small groups, youth group, and mission trips happen. As much as it may seem like we only work on Sundays, that is far from the truth. 

2) Your expectations of your youth worker are probably too high. Most youth workers quit their jobs after a couple of years because they cannot meet the unrealistic expectations of parents and Church staff. Do you want our youth group to triple in one year? So do I!  Is this a realistic goal? Probably not.  Make sure that you’re setting realistic goals in your mind for your Church’s youth ministry and its staff. 

3) We really do plan intentionally.  I know sometimes it seems like we’re doing a Super Bowl party, lock-in, or ski trip just for fun, but we have planned every single event intentionally.  We do parties and lock-ins so our youth can experience genuine Christian fellowship and we often use them as a chance to do service in our community. We do our ski-trips because we get some of our best worship times during these trips.  Everything we do has a Biblical purpose behind it (except maybe our hot-dog eating contest…that’s just for fun)! 

What are some things that you think every parent should know about youth ministry?