Why the Youth Pastor Should Be Your Best Friend

I had the opportunity recently to lead a discussion group with other preteen ministry leaders.

The topic of discussion was transitioning preteens to youth ministry. This is an excellent topic in itself, and I will probably be writing on it soon.

Something else grabbed my attention –there was a lot of talk about the lack of relationship with the youth pastor at their churches.

It goes to say that if we are to help transition our preteens to youth ministry, we need to work closely with the youth pastor.

The conversation started out well with many having great things to say about their youth pastors, but the talk quickly turned negative.

Many shared that they never even speak to their youth pastor; or how the youth pastor doesn’t care about any ministry in the church except their own.

Now there isn’t even a small part of me that doesn’t care about the other ministries in the church. So, I believe there isn’t a youth pastor out there that only cares about their own ministry.

We need to remember that they are busy (like we are) and sometimes we all can get a little too focused on our own ministries (if we are honest).

I believe that your youth pastor can and should be your best friend in ministry.

No one else in ministry is dealing with the same things you are: parent issues, school overload, extracurricular activities, etc.

Your youth pastor is the one person who is working as hard as you are to help students live a life for Jesus, so why do so many feel that their youth pastor doesn’t care about anything else but their own ministries?

I believe that part of the reason is we are all so busy that we don’t take the time to talk with each other.

To work as a team and support each other, we need to be talking and praying with one another outside of regular staff meetings.

When I was speaking with the others in our discussion group, many said they have tried and it just doesn’t work. My response? Keep trying!

We need to realize that one meeting every now and then is not going to cut it.

We understand the importance of building relationships with the preteens in our ministry, and it’s no different when it comes to building a good relationship with the youth pastor.

It’s going to take time, energy and work. But it’s so worth it!

I was at a conference a year ago and a youth pastor led a session on transitioning students into youth ministry.

One of the greatest things I took away from it was youth pastors need our help just as much as we need theirs.

I took this as a personal challenge to work hard at helping our youth pastor to understand our ministry and the preteens soon moving up to youth.

It took me some time to figure out how to do, and I have to let you know that I may have a different relationship with our youth pastor than most.

We are very good friends outside of church, and I serve in his middle school ministry as a small group leader.

This gives me the time and opportunity for us to talk about both ministries.

Our personal relationship allows us to talk about and respect both ministries even if we don’t agree on something.

My wife, who is on staff as our children’s ministry director, has seen great benefits from meeting with him and discussing each other’s ministries.

Remember, we all have our own thoughts and opinions on things; and we will not always see eye to eye on everything. All that matters is that we have the same end goal of helping preteens and youth to develop and build their relationships with Jesus.

I hope that if you take anything away from this, it’s to begin building trust and respect for each other and your ministries.

If you have a strained relationship with your youth pastor, begin to pray about it and ask God to bring you together.

There may be some hard conversations that will need to happen, but they are ones that will bring your ministries closer together.

Liked this blog post? You’ll enjoy this one as well – Awkward & Funny Questions Preteens Ask


rob quinnRob Quinn serves as the Preteen Ministry Coordinator at Community Bible Church in Brighton, MI. He has been involved with preteen ministry for almost 8 years now. Rob is married to an amazing woman Jodi, who just so happens to be the Children’s Ministry Director at his church. They have one beautiful daughter Sydni, and an 8-pound attack dog named Lilly.

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One Response to “Why the Youth Pastor Should Be Your Best Friend

  • Mark Friestad
    6 years ago

    Thanks Rob. I would add that we, too, as preteen ministry leaders need to understand that children’s ministry directors may view us with the same suspicion (or perceived suspicion) that we view youth pastors. They, too, may think that we believe what they do with younger kids isn’t as important and doesn’t matter as much as the REAL ministry we’re doing with preteen kids. Just a thought.

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