What You Should Be Looking For In A Youth Minister

5 Areas that should be a part of every church's recruiting strategy

When a church reaches out to me to help them find their next youth minister a common concern emerges. The don’t want to hire someone who is going to get OVERWHELMED EASILY and LEAVE TOO SOON.

Honestly, I can’t blame them. A church needs stability with their youth ministry because the life of a teenager is not. If you want to find the right person you need a recruitment strategy.  According to Monster.com  your recruitment strategy should address the following 5 areas:

JOB DUTIES: WHAT WILL THE PERSON DO?

A potential candidate for the job is going to be attracted to your youth ministry position if they know exactly what’s expected of them. Don’t overcomplicate it with buzzwords and ambiguous terms.

Start with a clear job title and identify the age groups they’ll oversee. Indeed.com recommends that you keep your responsibilities detailed but concise. A big turnoff is a vague job description where the candidate is unsure of exactly what he or she needs to do.

WORK EXPERIENCE: WHAT BACKGROUND IS REQUIRED TO GET THE JOB DONE

This all depends on the current status of your youth ministry. The time to hire someone:

WITH EXPERIENCE

Is if you are looking for someone to build a youth ministry from the ground up or completely change the program. They will have confidence and wisdom with what works and what doesn’t. They should get you to your goals quicker.

WITH LITTLE TO NO EXPERIENCE

Is if you are looking for someone to take over a well-established program. While a veteran youth worker could do the job he or she might be inclined to make changes that could misalign with the church’s vision and strategy.

The ideal situation is to hire an assistant youth minister who will apprentice the current youth minister. When the current youth minister is set to move on you have their replacement ready to go.

SKILLS: WHAT UNIQUE SKILLS MUST THE PERSON POSSESS?

Frisbee, guitar playing, and humor are nice but not necessary. While the makeup of your church or community might impact these skills (i.e. bilingual), a few non-negotiables should be:

  • Public speaking – If you can’t speak in front of teens, parents, volunteers, etc then you are going to struggle to move them in the direction your desire.
  • Team management – Youth ministers who go solo don’t last for long. You want someone who not only coordinates teenagers but manages adults well.
  • Technologically savvy – You want someone who is not only comfortable with social media but software that’s going to help them run a more efficient ministry.

Again, the makeup of your church is going to impact more of these skills; however, these three should not be overlooked.

STYLE: HOW WILL THE PERSON GET THE JOB DONE?

The style, strategy, and values of your church will impact the answer to this question. You’ll want someone who thinks and operates the way the rest of the church thinks and operates. For example:

  • If your church cares about mission work find a youth minister who understands outreach.
  • If you are all about small groups find a youth minister who is experienced with networking.
  • If your church is about big events find someone who is capable of taking care of the logistics.

Your goal should be alignment and that only comes if you hire someone who’s work style compliments the rest of the organization.

TEMPERMANT: WHAT KIND OF PERSONALITY SUCCEEDS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?

This comes down to the type of staff culture you desire. Are you looking for someone who will challenge the status quo or mesh well with the current team? The best way to find out these answer is through the interview process.

Even if someone is highly skilled and has a lot of experienced it doesn’t mean he or she will be the right fit. Any type of misalignment in culture will slow your church down from reaching its goals. For more on this, I recommend reading The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni.

Don’t feel pressured to hire just anyone. Look for someone who matches the culture and give them a clear idea of what needs to be done. In the end, your prudence will pay off.

Question:  What other questions should churches be asking when hiring their next youth minister?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

If you are looking for assistance in creating a job description or with hiring your next youth minister you can set up a consultation by clicking HERE.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jake

    My coach is having me read The Advantage right now. Great book!

    • Definitely great book. Your coach must be a great guy.

      • Jake

        He’s pretty good.