The Deception of Position in Youth Ministry (And Why It Speaks to Something Far Deeper)

Originally published July 2006.

I don’t want to say I’ve just come to this realization, I’m just becoming more aware of how deep down this is.  There is a sickness in the Christian church with position.  I know it’s nothing new but let me explain.

For nine years, I received a paycheck from the Church for full-time service in youth ministry.  Now that I am currently not getting said paycheck but feel like I’m doing just as much, there is something stirring in me about what position and status has done to my soul.

For many there are feelings of validation that come with paycheck and position.  The question I keep asking is, “Can you do what you do without getting a paycheck for it?”  This has brought up so many things inside of me that are deep.

The Connecting Authority Figure

Originally published September 2004.

The following is an internet‑forum discussion off of the former YS Forum boards I jumped into.  It is reprinted here with permission, names changed and bad internet chat grammar in tact.

Youth pastor: “I do the whole substituting thing (substitute teaching) too, but that is mostly because my degree is in education and the church does not pay me enough to do just that. However, I am very intrigued by how you see subbing as an essential part of youth ministry. I hate the fact that I have to sub for youth that I have, and even for youth I could potentially reach. Because in the classroom I have to be “Mr. Stonehill” instead of Randy.