Home Pastors 5 Simple Ways To Prevent Youth Pastor Burnout and Turnover

5 Simple Ways To Prevent Youth Pastor Burnout and Turnover

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We’ve all heard the scary statistic that the average stay of a youth pastor is around 18 months. Although I can’t confirm this exact number, it’s clear that youth pastor burnout and turnover is a real thing. Typical youth leaders, in the typical church, don’t stay long.

So what can we do about it? How do we help youth leaders prevent burnout and turnover? Here are five simple ways:

1. Make Youth Ministry a Church-Wide Priority.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

When youth leaders see teenagers and youth ministry as a church-wide, strategic priority, they begin to see their job as important. They don’t feel like second-class ministry professionals; rather they start to see themselves as frontline warriors for a crucial Kingdom demographic.

Teenagers come to Christ quicker and spread the Gospel faster and father than adults. So why would we not focus on them? One on-fire-for-Christ teenager on TikTok can reach more people in one viral post than Billy Graham could in a dozen chock-full stadiums. Teenagers deployed on every school campus can become, in the words of my friend Chris Selby, federally funded missionaries.

If we miss youth, we miss the movement. Make sure your youth leader knows this, feels this, and senses this from you.

2. Prioritize Soul Care as a Nonnegotiable.

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. (Isaiah 44:3)

Many youth leaders are dried up and burned out. They need encouragement. They need Sabbath. They need rest and refreshing. They are dry ground, spiritually and emotionally speaking. And it’s hard to produce rich fruit from dry ground.

How do we provide streams of water for them to be refreshed? How do we help them be ready, on every level, to tackle the challenges ahead of them with spiritual vigor, emotional health, and relational strength? We must provide soul care or, at a minimum, make available the resources where they can find it.

My former youth ministry professor at Colorado Christian University, R.J. Koerper, speaks to this crucial issue. I challenge you to watch this podcast and then forward it onto your youth leader. It deals directly with helping youth leaders improve when it comes to soul care.

A spiritually, relationally, and emotionally healthy youth leader has a much deeper impact on his or her teenagers—and an exponentially wider impact on his or her community—than a depleted one.

3. Give Them a Vision Worth Staying For.

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. (Colossians 1:28)