Marco, a Youth Pastor, tells us how his day is really like managing people, admin and passion. You’d be surprised what the perks and the cons are!
What are your favourite and your least parts of your day-to-day job?
My favourite part of the job is getting to work with teens. People don’t really understand how one can love and have a passion for teenagers, because well they are teenagers, but I would do anything for my teens!
My least favourite part is admin work and sometimes dealing with volunteers that aren’t committed.
How is the pay in your job as a Youth Pastor?
It’s difficult to say. It all depends on what Church you’re working for, if you’re a full-time or a part-time employee.
What I can say is this: if your aim is to make a lot of money and be well-off, ministry work is probably not for you.
How are the hours in your job?
The hours can be gruelling, as there are days where you have to work after-hours. I usually have Friday evenings that I don’t have to do something work-related.
When most people have a relaxing Sunday, Sunday is my most demanding work day.
With that said you do receive a day off each week, which is usually flexible, depending on your goals for the week ahead.
What type of personality would love doing your job? And what type of person would hate doing what you do?
You have to be versatile. I do not recommend being under 21 and immediately start working for a church. Take time to get to know yourself and find out if it’s truly what you want to do. I first studied Science!
If you love admin, you would love 65% of this career, if you hate public speaking and being vulnerable and open to criticism you’re going to hate this work.
You have to be thick-skinned, comfortable enough in who you are to show it to people who do not know you. It’s scary, challenging but soooo rewarding.
How is your day-to-day work as a Youth Pastor different to what you expected?
I expected dealing with people on a day-to-day basis. That’s restricted to Sundays, and maybe during the week.
There’s more admin and preparation than expected.
What a) skills b) qualifications c) experience do employers look for in people who want to land a job as a Youth Pastor?
The following skills I believe is a must: people skills, administrative skills, great time management, great people management, and lots of patience.
The best qualification is obviously a theological background and studies. Having a degree and experience in youth work counts as qualification.
Never stop learning. Theology is what helps you guide your doctrine and helps you to check if what you’re giving people is the truth. One major qualification is your testimony and your call to the specific ministry.
If you’re aiming to be youth pastor, the experience employers look for is experience in youth work (this means volunteer work at church with the youth). If you can be trusted to give up time and energy for the youth without getting paid, your heart is in the right place.
Secondly, you need a deep conviction to work with youth, and life experience will always be a plus point. Employers look for honest, open and transparent leaders.
Are there any changes you foresee in your industry that might influence the way teens should approach a career in your field?
Moving into a more technological, and even artificial intelligence era, one’s approach should also be technological: know how websites work, how the latest apps work and how to get around with social media.
A shift is definitely in the books. With technology, a pastor’s reach is not just the people in the congregation, but everyone who have access to internet. There are multiple websites where sermons are broadcasted live.
Yet, with changes there will be always one constant and that is God. Making your ministry cool and relevant is a modern strategy, but God does not need to be made cool, he is already pretty awesome.
Is there anything you wish you had known when you were a teen, career-wise?
Career wise, what you study is not always, almost never, what you get in the real-world and the actual work place. I wish I had started with what I knew I needed to be doing, rather than continuing with what I thought I wanted to do.
I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to have everything figured out by the time we turn 16. Today is the youngest you will ever be, enjoy it.