Youth ministry is an incredible job, but it’s also very demanding. And, that’s why it can be frustrating when coworkers, parents, and even the teens don’t take you seriously.
Youth ministry is a profession and it should be taken seriously. Unfortunately, it’s often viewed as babysitting for teenagers. If you are tired of being patronized or just looking to advocate youth ministry as a serious position then:
YOU NEED TO GIVE YOUR OWN MINISTRY A SERIOUS APPROACH
That means changing a few of your habits and organizing the way you approach your job. To get started you need to make sure you have:
A SOLID JOB DESCRIPTION
Your job description is that guide that answers these essential questions:
- What do you do?
- Why do you do what you do?
- How are you supposed to get the job done?
- Who is involved in your responsibilities?
If you need a job description or need to revamp the one you have to sit down with your pastor (or direct report) to put it together. If you need guidance:
- Find someone with HR experience to guide you through the process
- Reach out to your diocese to see if they have a sample
Even if it isn’t perfect put one together and mark a time where you and your direct report can review it annually. This way you can answer the question:
“How am I doing?”
And, to help you succeed you need to make sure you:
PRIORITIZE YOUR CALENDAR
A calendar not only organizes your schedule but gives you margin and confidence. People will take a confident leader seriously.
To put together a solid schedule you need to know:
- What’s most important.
- What can wait?
- The best time to take on certain tasks.
HOW YOU DRESS MATTERS MORE THAN YOU THINK
What you wear does matter. It not only impacts how people view you but also how you behave. SAGE Journal (social and personal psychology publication) published a study on how dressing formally versus casually not only impacts the impression you give others but the way you approach certain situations. When you dress:
- Formal your thinking will be more abstract.
- Casual your thinking will be more concrete.
Therefore, if you are going to a meeting dressing a little formal is going to do you justice. To read the full article click HERE.
When it comes to appearance people will treat you with a little more respect if you remember the basics:
- Wearing clean clothes.
- Avoiding wrinkles and holes.
- Making sure your clothes match.
Everyone has their own style and that’s okay as long as you remember it does impact people’s perspective of you.
TAKE COMMAND OF YOUR COMMUNICATION
Your communication cannot be reactionary. It needs to be intentional and well planned. You need to make sure you know which mediums reach which audiences the best. If possible build a team that can help you:
- Cut down on grammatical errors.
- Think of new ways of reaching your audiences.
- Give you feedback on what is and isn’t working.
For more on communicating to your audience check out these other posts:
OWN YOUR MEETINGS
I recently asked the question, “Are your meetings worth the sacrifice?“ If you can host a well organized and memorable meeting your professional status will rise.
Make sure you take the time to plan and prepare your meetings. Build a team to help you set-up, break down and greet people. And remember your audience is giving up a lot to be with you.
Get serious about what you do and people will notice. They’ll see that what you do isn’t just hanging out with teenagers, it’s something bigger.
Question: What best practices would you offer? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
If you are looking for professional development as a youth minister or someone who works in a church setting you can set up a consultation for MYM 1 on 1 coaching by clicking the button below.