Thursday, August 23, 2007

Common Misconceptions About Youth Ministry

I just finished re-reading an article that I had read a few years ago written by Mark Oestreicher of Youth Specialties called "What I Wish I Knew When I Started Youth Ministry, Part 1: My Stupid Misconceptions". Well they are not just his misconceptions. I know all of us who have been in youth ministry have held some or all of these misconceptions at one time or another (and perhaps even still). I have seen volunteers who have struggled with these misconceptions, as well as, parents, church board members and pastors. Read the article for a detailed explanation, but I wanted to list them here.
  1. My role as a youth worker is to be a buddy to the students.
  2. My role is to identify and confront all the sin in students' lives.
  3. I can fix any student.
  4. I've got to be cool, speak the lingo, play guitar, and throw around youth culture references.
  5. Parents are the enemy; parents are the problem (obviously parents don't hold this one).
  6. Advisory teams and boards are useless and slow you down.
  7. I've got better ideas than other youth workers.
  8. The best curriculum is the stuff I write.
  9. Young adults make the best youth workers.
  10. I'm in competition with other churches.
  11. The goal is to be big.
  12. Youth ministry is the most important ministry in the church.
  13. Safety issues are for other people and other churches.
  14. If you ignore problems, they'll go away.
  15. A lot can be accomplished in the first year.
  16. Eventually I'll have youth ministry totally figured out.
Are there any of these you take exception with? Are there others you would add? Leave a comment and let me know.

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Recovering said...

I'm dissapointed that you would plagerize the most popular youth ministry handbook like that...

Shane Vander Hart said...

Well I was getting tired of plagiarizing your stuff, so I thought I would move on to Youth Specialties


Recovering said...

I'm glad you realize I was being sarcastic...I always assumed that list of 16 was something out of an ACTUAL youth worker handbook because it seems like the majority of the youth leaders I know have perfected each point...