FRIDAY NUGGET: Stop Wrecking It for the Rest of Us!

a few years ago now, i lead a discussion at a convention about ‘the future of youth ministry.’ in prep for that, i’d asked for quotes from a variety of youth ministry thinkers. steve argue, the brilliant pot-stirrer who was just hired as a youth min prof at fuller, sent me the following e-grenade (put your kevlar vest on before reading!):

Hey church, adolescents are NOT leaving you. You are perpetually leaving them. Stop using statistical bullsh*t to project blame. Repent.

Unless you’re willing to let adolescents mess with your own life, you have no business messing with their lives.

Most churches are not worthy of youth pastors. Youth pastors, stop giving yourself to organizations that use you to better “market” their church to families; that expect you to “produce” programs; and that exploit you because they know it’s hard to leave the kids you love. Walk away. Don’t take the job, because if you do, you’re wrecking it for all of us. Raise the bar. Boycott churches unworthy of youth pastors. Amen.

2 thoughts on “FRIDAY NUGGET: Stop Wrecking It for the Rest of Us!”

  1. That last paragraph… That’s why I left. Now I just feel unfulfilled and pissed off. Wondering what place I have in the church, if any, if any future. What do I do now?

  2. DK (i’ll play along and use your initials, even though i know and love you and have HIGH belief in you): yes, you were being used; i agree. i’m bummed you’re feeling unfulfilled and pissed off, because i think, from what i can tell, you’re doing some of the best youth ministry of your life. i wish thousands more youth workers would live out their youth ministry calling like you do. you are still a part of the church, in a deeply theological sense. i’m not saying you shouldn’t be pissed off — you got seriously burned and mistreated. but that’s not every church.

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