#15. the lunch meeting

youth pastors LOVE the lunch meeting.  whether it’s some fancy restaurant or if it’s Taco Bell… and let’s be honest… it’s way more the Taco Bell than the fancy place… we love to mix business and pleasure.  some would argue that youth ministry is all pleasure and no business.  All I have to say about that is, “they must not be in youth ministry.”  if given a choice between a meeting in a conference room or a meeting at a fast food restaurant… fast food will win 95% of the time.  They should start teaching this in christian colleges and youth ministry classes all over the place… successful youth ministry meeting = content + consumption. 

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#14. Using acrostics in their youth group name.

I didn’t realize this until recently… but youth pastors love acrostics for their youth group names.  Maybe we all love televised sports as well and gain inspiration from every poster that highlights the letters ABC, CBS, NBC, or ESPN with their clever messages.  Maybe we start to think “maybe our students will start to make posters of their own with our initials and acrostics on them.. Oh the possibilities.”  It’s getting bad.  Our student ministry program is called MERGE and I was talking with another youth pastor and told him what it was called and he said “Oh yah?  What’s that stand for?”  Case in point.

#13. XBOX 360

Alright… let’s be honest.  Youth pastors LOVE video games.  We pass it off as being “culturally relevant” with our students… and some of us use gaming time on LIVE as “MINISTRY” time.  I once convinced my wife that I needed XBOX Live to connect with students in our youth ministry.  But… here’s the secret: We play because we like to.  It’s like gaming is written on the DNA code of a youth pastor.  and if that is true… we might as well embrace it!

#12. Using speaking time in “BIG-CHURCH” to plug youth ministry

Youth pastors love to use up front time in “BIG CHURCH” to plug youth ministry.  It’s like our product that we have to sell to the congregation to get them interested or involved.  It doesn’t matter when or what topic… we can plug it in.  “And God called Moses to lead the children of Israel… and that’s why you too should get involved with youth ministry.  God may be calling you to help out with students.”  or “But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him… She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.’ friends… that’s why we need you in youth ministry.”  {okay… a little exaggeration… but you get the idea}.

#11. using the topic of sex to draw a crowd

Youth pastors love drawing a crowd of students.  And their #1 tactic for doing so is dropping the hint that “we’re going to talk about sex in church!”  It’s like teenagers are interested in sex or something.  it is a fact of youth ministry that you always see a bump in attendance whenever you talk about the topics of sex or relationships.  I did a sex series and saw a HUGE increase in numbers… I turned to one of our other guys on youth ministry staff and said, “Well… that settles it.  We’re going to talk about sex for the rest of the school year.  HA!”  

#10. purpose statements

Youth pastors love purpose statements.  I think that is why Purpose Driven Youth Ministry did so well… the youth pastor’s biggest crutch is their purpose statement.  Want to know what a youth ministry is all about??  search their website, printed material or banners and you’ll find it… their purpose statement.  WORSHIP, EVANGELISM, and messy games???  it seems whatever youth pastors liked on that day… it ends up in their purpose statement.  “valley community youth ministry exists to worship God, eat before programs, play U2 once in a while, learn some Bible stuff, play dodgeball {sorry, had to link Josh Griffin somehow. HAHA!} , and fill up the room with your friends.” {ok, a slight exaggeration… but you get the idea.}

#9. number dropping

One of the black-eye things that youth pastors love {and I’m not very proud to admit it} is number dropping.  You can’t get a group of youth pastors in a room for less than 30 min. without hearing some numbers being thrown around.  you know what I’m talking about.  “My youth ministry has 45 kids.”  “Well my youth ministry has 145… {in his mind… “beat that!”}”  I heard Doug Fields say once “You don’t say 5 to someone when they ask about how your family is doing… so why do we do this with our youth ministries?”  It’s a sad but true reality… youth pastors love number dropping.