Working in ministry can be a challenging calling regardless of our circumstances. But it is even more difficult when we are working in an environment that is led by someone who has a different ministry philosophy than we do. In youth ministry, this can often be the point of much friction. I’ve talked with countless youth ministers struggling with the philosophy of the leadership over them. They are not sure what to do. Most feel stuck. Many want to give up.
All ask for my advice in one degree or another.
So, what do you do if you differ in ministry philosophy with the leadership over you?
I will issue a few thoughts, but first let me say that I have been both a youth pastor (in 2 contexts) and I have planted a church of which I still pastor. So, these thoughts aren’t favoring one side of the coin over the other, but instead my goal is to have them more focused on personal growth. These might seem a bit harsh at first, but here are some of my honest thoughts:
- You don’t need to be at the church you are at, so if you disagree with how the leadership leads or the direction of the church to the point where you can’t support it…you should leave. If you stay you will end up being divisive, regardless of how much you try to keep a unified face on.
- If you are staying at the church simply because you have no other source of income, I would recommend you seriously consider your “calling” to ministry. This might be a point to elaborate on in another post, but I would be inclined to say that this is actually the reason you should resign.
- If you are staying because you “feel called to the kids in your ministry” then trust the LORD is in control and follow the lead of those over you. And, trust that He is going to teach you some things during your time at the church.
- If you think you should stay because you feel like God wants to use you as an agent of change, be careful. I’ve found some to be that agent of change, but it’s definitely the minority. In fact, in my experience, God keeps the youth pastor at the church so the youth pastor will change – usually toward more humility.
Chuck / @chuckbomar