How to Encourage Your Youth Pastor
As a teen, I was blessed to have an amazing youth pastor in Bro. Mark Swanson. He did so much to help me. I could never repay him for the investment he made in my life. If you have a youth pastor, you are blessed. Many young people would give anything to have a youth pastor. Whatever you do, please do not take your youth pastor for granted.
“Many of these ideas would apply to encouraging a pastor, Sunday school teacher or Christian school teacher.”
Here at North Valley, we are blessed to have a great youth pastor and youth pastor’s wife. Of course, Bro. Tim did not ask me to write this article. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even tell him I was planning to write it, though perhaps I should have. I do know that youth pastors everywhere need young people who will encourage them. Even the great leader Moses needed Aaron and Hur to hold up his arms when he became weary.
God gave me the privilege of being a youth pastor for several years after graduating from Golden State Baptist College. My wife and I were blessed with some tremendous young people. Many of these young people are now faithfully serving the Lord in full-time ministry. Here are some of the ways that these young people encouraged my wife and me. Many of these ideas would apply to encouraging a pastor, Sunday school teacher or Christian school teacher. I want to specifically challenge you to encourage your youth pastor and his wife.
1) Be faithful to church.
A youth pastor loves to see his young people faithful to every church service.
2) Be faithful to all youth events.
This would include Sunday school, teen hour, teen soul winning, teen prayer time, youth revivals, youth conferences, teen camp, etc.
3) Be a soul winner.
If you really want to encourage your youth pastor, lead a soul to Christ.
4) Show up early.
When you show up early, you can meet the visitors, be friendly, and help to set a good spirit.
5) Be responsive in services.
It’s okay for young men to say “amen” at the appropriate times. Pay attention, and allow God to speak to your heart. It will encourage your youth pastor to see you respond during the invitation.
As a young person, you must learn to sing. Sing with fervency! Think about the words of the songs. A youth group that loves to sing is a youth group that is spiritual.
7) Sit up front.
I have never seen a young person do great things for God from the back row of Sunday school or church. You may know of an exception, but I do not.
8) Look for ways to help.
Help your youth pastor set up before activities and clean up after activities. Don’t allow your youth pastor’s wife to clean the church kitchen. Don’t allow the youth pastor to sweep the bus. Take the initiative to help in any way possible.
9) Express your gratitude.
Be thankful. Thank your youth pastor for lessons, messages, activities, etc. Write a lot of thank you notes—be a thankful teenager.
10) Write notes of encouragement to your youth pastor and his wife.
I still have many notes of encouragement from young people in my youth group. Those young people will probably never know how much those notes encouraged me.
11) Don’t complain.
As a youth pastor, I organized several activities that were awful. Perhaps you have experienced a boring activity. No matter what – don’t complain. Be glad that you have a youth pastor and youth activities of any kind; many teens do not.
12) Never criticize.
Your youth pastor needs your support not your criticism. Don’t be negative. Look for opportunities to compliment and encourage your youth pastor.
13) Be consistent.
Look like a Christian, act like a Christian, dress like a Christian, talk like a Christian 24/7. This will be a great encouragement to your youth pastor.
14) Pray for your youth pastor.
Pray for him daily. Pray for his wife and family. Pray that God would give him wisdom and power. Let him know that you are praying for him.
Let your youth pastor know how you are doing. Keep him informed about decisions you are making. Ask your youth pastor to pray for specific needs that you have.
Your youth pastor has invested much time, energy, and prayer into your life. After you graduate, don’t throw it all away. Continue to live for God. Stay faithful to church. Attend Bible college. Seek God’s will for your life. Seeing you give your life to God will encourage your youth pastor like nothing else can.