The Youth Ministry Godfather is Mike Yaconelli.
Mike is the embodiment of what a youth minister is and does. Whenever I am feeling defeated, uninspired or stuck I turn to Mike Yaconelli, the youth ministry great to give me a jolt youth ministry goodness. Mike’s summarizes the heart and the mission of a youth minister in Getting Fired For The Glory of God wonderfully:
What characterizes followers of Christ is that we tell the truth. I am not talking about doctrinal truth—I am talking truth Truth: Where we talk about our strengths and weaknesses where we talk about our victories and defeats; where we talk about our successes and failures; where we talk about our answers and doubts; where we talk about our joy and depressions, where we talk about our courage and fear. (26)
Modern YM has turned discipleship into principles rather than a process, activity rather than inactivity. Discipleship has become a commitment that can be measured instead of a relationship that cannot be measured. Discipleship has become a short-term program instead of a lifetime process. (55)
Jesus’ program of discipleship was simple: Hang out with the disciples; let them see you at your best and worst; spend lots of time alone; teach truths that none of your disciples can grasp at the moment; avoid crowds; go slowly; spend hours in solitude; don’t worry about opposition; ignore criticism; don’t expect immediate results. (55)
Mike’s gets it. I like youth minister’s that track with what Mike is throwing down. Here’s more:
May God give us a new generation of youth workers, un-intimidated by denominations and institutions, who refuse to be held hostage to paychecks and who believe it’s their calling to rescue this generation from the jaws of a comfortable, compliant, lifeless religion so they can proudly introduce this generation to the unstable, captivation, erratic, wondrous, inconsistent, irregular, noble, and outrageous, glorious life of a disciple of Christ. (67)
Routine deadens our imaginations (139)
Mike, the youth ministry Godfather, requests, in his book Getting Fired For the Glory of God, every youth pastor do these 7 things:
✅ Write into your youth ministry job description: TIME ALONE WITH JESUS
✅ Ask for a book budget that’s separate from your youth ministry book budget. My top books you need to read now: Extreme Ownership. In The Name of Jesus: Thoughts On Christian Leadership. The Pastor: A Memoir.
✅ Suggest that the staff get together weekly or even daily for communion to help everybody remember their calling
✅ Find a wise older person who’ll agree to meet with you regularly to help you listen what God is saying in your life
✅ Journal regularly. I love these tactical notebook. I was talking to a Navy pilot and he showed me his tactical notebook that he carries everywhere to reflect and to take notes. This notebook is part of my EDC (every day carry).
✅ Ask the staff to brainstorm ways to increase the percentage of time during staff meetings spent talking about their relationship with Jesus
✅ Suggest that the staff have annual spiritual retreats
These are excellent request. Why?! Because it keep us, distracted youth workers focused on the mission to reach students for Jesus.. These 7 items stop us from not getting pulled into the church political games and reminds us why we got in youth ministry.
Keep grinding and keep getting after it!