Tag Archives: youth pastors

#17 – Violent Games

For those who are unfamiliar with the origin of this photo, it is a logo from “The Hunger Games.” This is a book in which 24 (2 from each “district” of Panem, a fictional futuristic, post apocalyptic dis-topian  society) participants between the ages of 12-18 fight to the death in an arena in a short of reality TV show environment. There is something they don’t tell you in the book or the upcoming movie though:

A Youth Pastor definitely thought of this idea. 

12- 18 years old – Youth ministry.

24 – a perfect number to get most of the group involved.

2 from each district – clearly was originally small groups.

I see what you did there Susanne Collins. You were simply paying tribute to the #17 thing that Youth Pastors like, Violent games. In youth ministry, we do things that are flat our reckless. Partially because they are fun and partially because we know that youth kids have pent up rage and a school system that sucks the fun out of even dodgeball with those stupid soft touch things. The fact is that youth pastors have this unexplained thirst for violence. It really is hilarious. Some of the most violent things are also the most fun.

So today i salute you Mr. Overlord of Violence. May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor.



#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. 

#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!

#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!”  

#8. Messy Games

youth pastors love the messy game.  In fact, the messier, the better.  Channelling Joe Rogan… we all envision youth ministry as a giant “Fear Factor” episode… getting students to do and eat just about anything for the sake of a laugh.  In my youth ministry experience… we once made students bob for huge dill pickles in a vat of oatmeal with their elbows, decorated students as human sundaes, and made them transport un-sugared kool-aid in their mouths from one container to another.  like I said… youth pastors LOVE messy games.

#7. cheesy fart jokes

Youth pastors… especially guy youth pastors… love the cheesy fart jokes.  I think something happens when you take a job as a youth pastor that makes you revert back to being a junior higher.  I’ll give you an example:  I was at a Youth Specialties conference and at a breakout session with Doug Fields about small groups.  He is showing all these great videos about how to do the “house group” thing and then he shows some slides that they use to get kids interested in joining a small group.  At the end of the pictures there is a slide that he said he made.  Maybe you’ve seen it {cow-pic}… It is a picture of a cow saying “Moooove on to a small group.”  Just when you think the slide couldn’t get any cheesier… the cow farts.  3/4 of the room starts giggling like middle school girls.  {I must admit… I laughed… I laughed hard.}  Youth pastors love the fart jokes.