As I’m out to town for a counseling conference, our students had their worship service without me last night. Honestly, that can often be a huge fear for a youth pastor. What if they like the guest speaker better than our week-to-weak preaching? I told our students all last week that they had a very special guest speaker as a surprise while I’m gone. Many of them were begging me to tell them who it was going to be. After the worship service last night, they all facebooked and texted me that the worship service was AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, and LIFE-CHANGING. Again, that can often be a very scary thing for a youth pastor. But here’s the cool part. I loved hearing that! First and foremost because that meant that they worshipped and grew in Jesus. But secondly because of who the speaker was. Who was it? Read on…It was our senior pastor! Scissors beat paper, paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, and senior pastor beats youth pastor. I have always taught my student ministry that the most important spiritual experience, spiritual growth, sermon, lesson, and time of worship…is when they are under the preaching of their senior pastor. What?! More so than their personal devotions? More so than their family devotions? More so than their Sunday school class? More so than their small group? More so than than their youth worship service?!
Oh yeah. If you want to be biblical, the time we spend under our God-given and head shepherding senior pastor is the time we are commanded and given to grow in Jesus most. I have always wished and wanted to serve under a senior pastor where that makes sense. As I taught this importance, I wanted our students to experience it!
I’m so honored and blessed to be a part of a growing church where the pastor is a phenomenal preacher, pastor, leader, and person. He taught last night and the students loved it! That is so awesome because they will now be EVEN MORE connected to his preaching on Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings because they have seen him in their teenage layer, atmosphere, and environment. He loves them. And they love him. That is a huge blessing to me because I know that as they love their shepherd-pastor…they will grow in their love more and more for their shepherd-King, Jesus Christ.
Youth pastors, hear me out for a sec. God has given the senior pastor of your church to be the authoritative shepherd. Point your students to his preaching, encourage them to love him and get to know him. Talk about all of the great points in his preaching and teaching. Talk more about him than you talk about yourself. Ultimately, as you show your students your respect for him, you are showing them how to be humble towards their authorities: their parents and ultimately Jesus.
Senior pastors, be a loving authority toward your youth pastor. Love him (yes HIM) by getting to know him, asking what is going on in his ministry, rejoice that his ministry is growing (because then your ministry is growing), ask how to be praying for his student ministry, ask how you can help him and be a resource for him, and give him room to pastor his students. Trust me, you’ll have a happy youth pastor. I know this because this is how my pastor rocks at his senior pastoral role as my authority. Peace out.