Youth Ministry Coaching vs. an Interim Youth Pastor
“and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” – 2 Timothy 2:2
Since 2002 I have served off and on as an interim youth pastor for many churches. And in each one their specific needs and situations have varied. In my previous two posts I shared a little about what it’s been like serving as an interim youth pastor by giving one or two specific cases. And while each case has had its challenges they have not come without its joys and benefits. To read more about what an interim entails check out my previous post; You Want Me to do What?
Not only have I served in the interim capacity but I currently have the privilege of serving with an awesome team of mentors through Life in Student Ministry. This gives me the opportunity to work one-on-one with a youth worker with less than 5 years experience as a mentor or coach. Providing them with spiritual, personal, and ministry mentorship and accountability as well as support and training for their first five years in youth ministry. And while I’ve been humbled and honored to have worked with some great youth workers they have been a blessing to me as we both learned from our time together.
While I no doubt see the benefits of both, an interim youth pastor and a youth ministry coach, I’ve recently found myself pondering a question. When a youth ministry is in need of help are we sometimes too quick to go the route of firing and then hiring an interim youth pastor?
Yes, there are times when a church may find itself seeking the route of an interim due to losing of a youth pastor. Maybe they left on their own for various reasons or asked to step down for legitimate reasons. But what about the youth pastor that may be weak in some areas of leadership, lacking in experience, and even lacks in some areas of education? Should the next option Plan B, hire an interim? Or should we be looking at another option? Maybe firing the youth pastor and hiring an interim should drop to Plan C and look at coaching/ mentoring as Plan B if the problem within the youth ministry is inexperience and weakness in an area especially if they have only been serving for less than five years.
If it wasn’t for well experienced veteran youth workers that took the time to coach and mentor me in my early years I’m not sure where I’d be today. And even to this day after all these years I still seek out mentorship for myself because there will always be someone who has been doing it longer than me.
While we’re on the subject let me take a side bar and give you resources to some ministries that focus on providing coaching and mentorship. These are just to name a few, but do your research as there are many others available that can fit your needs.
So lets go back to the question I’ve been pondering; When a youth ministry is in need of help are we sometimes too quick to go the route of firing and then hiring an interim youth pastor?
I have my ideas and thoughts on this subject but wanted to post it here and get a discussion going to see what you think. Is youth ministry coaching and mentoring a better plan then an interim? What benefits do you see from both sides? Are we taking the time to expose youth workers to proper training in the area where they may be weak or lacking? The list of questions on this topic does not end here…
My name is Brian Ford. I'm a husband to my beautiful wife Kim, a speaker, a writer & youth pastor. Looking for a speaker for your next retreat, camp or youth event? Check out my Contact & Schedule pages for more information - www.xposed2jesus.com