Last week I wrote a blog about tough questions that youth pastors should be asking potential churches in an interview, I have been thinking about the opposite end of the table and decided to write about what churches need to be asking potential youth pastors.
Before I get to a list of questions I would like to get out front that churches should avoid questions such as the following…
1. What would you do if? The candidate hasn’t been to your church, does not know your people, and does not know that background the lies beneath the reason for this question…the answer is “I have no idea because of lack of information”.
2. What type of salary are you looking for? The answer is “6 figures, a parsonage with a 3 car garage, 4 weeks vacation, 10% of my salary as a Christmas bonus, plus the use of a new corvette for church business.” You are hiring someone and you know what you can afford, if money is the reason to hire or not hire the church needs to examine its priorities and if the candidate is truly called to the church and money is the reason to go or not go the candidate should examine his priorities as well.
3. Do you play any instruments? If you are hiring a youth pastor AND a worship leader, then say that in the ministry description, otherwise what does it matter?
There are just a few of the questions to try and avoid…so what should be asked of a potential youth pastor candidate?
1. What are your beliefs about God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Salvation, etc…? You are hiring someone to lead and shape the minds of kids and teenagers for eternity…you better know what they will be teaching.
2. How do you go about recruiting a team of volunteers? Understanding the leadership style of a potential youth pastor is essential in the church. A church needs to understand if they are an ego guy, a lone ranger, disorganized, or someone who works well with others.
3. What are your long-range goals for ministry? Never hire a youth pastor that is going to do youth ministry for a little while then “move on to bigger and better things” and try and be a senior pastor. This person will not be focused on the task at hand…to lead, equip, and teach this generation to impact their world for Christ. They cannot be focused on that because they will not be there long enough to do it. You want someone with a long range goal of being in youth ministry. If they are called to preach then they need to preach, if they are called to youth ministry they need to be in youth ministry.
4. How do you keep yourself spiritually fit? In youth ministry, a youth pastor may be gone 4 or 5 nights per week and also put in 40 hours in the office doing ministry. Sometimes the schedule gets crazy, so it is important to know how the leader of the youth ministry keeps himself spiritually ready.
These are just a few questions to ask a potential youth pastor candidate. The most important information a church needs to know about the person they hire is how they are spiritually and how they are going to lead the most important ministry in the church. Youth ministry is responsible for leading and shaping the lives of the next generation of preachers, Sunday School teachers, elders, deacons, worship leaders, etc… This cannot be taken lightly.
Thanks for reading!