A church youth director, also known as a youth pastor, is a common position in many churches. He typically oversees all aspects of ministries related to junior high and high school students. Along with the direct responsibilities in developing and coordinating youth programs, the youth director, or pastor, also collaborates with the head pastor and other members of the leadership team in carrying out the mission of the church. Qualifications for a youth director can vary depending on the church, but typically include a background working with youth and being an active member of the church community.
Develop Youth Programs
A primary role of the youth pastor is to develop youth programs, including weekly youth group meetings, Sunday school classes, retreats and missions trips. Youth groups often meet on a week night and provide a forum for teens to learn about God in a fun and friendly way. The youth director usually leads these meetings as well as Sunday school classes. In this capacity, he must prepare messages and provide Biblical instruction. Youth pastors should also develop relationships with the youth. This might involve in-home visits to nurture young Christians or to help teens struggling with academic or behavioral challenges.
Lead Ministry Teams
In smaller churches, the youth director might fly solo for a lot of his functions. In larger churches, though, he might have a team of paid and volunteer staff to lead. In this role, he must get to know the staff members, learn their strengths and delegate responsibilities in the various programs. Volunteer staff might coordinate and conduct mission trips or retreats. Additional Sunday school teachers are sometimes needed in larger churches where teens are broken into smaller groups.
Youth directors, or pastors, play an integral role in the church leadership team. They often meet with other pastors to develop objectives, strategies and plans for the church. They get involved in discussions about church mission trips, ministry objectives, challenges and budgets. Youth pastors with musical background also commonly serve on the church worship team. They might also deliver sermons in rotation with other persons or to fill in for the head pastor.
Fundraising is critical to the development and maintenance of successful youth ministries. This is especially true for mission trips and retreats. Youth and their families can't always support these trips out-of-pocket. The youth director often researches, develops and leads fundraising programs to help the teens raise money for their own trip or to put in the collective pool for everyone. He also monitors the budgets and makes spending arrangements for youth trips and events.