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Fired from Youth Ministry: 10 Ways to Get Booted From Your Job


Are you at risk of getting fired? Is your youth ministry job secure? Here’s a surprising rundown of 10 “sins” that’ll get you the hook.

Losing a job is no fun. Just ask a youth leader or church worker who’s been through it. After years in youth ministry, I’ve seen enough to know what it takes to get fired. Avoid these mistakes, and you’ll have a shot at enjoying a long ride at your church.

You’re Fired! 10 Ways to Lose a Youth Ministry Job

1. Whiffing on the “no-brainer.”

The quickest way to get fired is simple: Don’t do the job the church hired you to do. The search committee (or church staffer) who created the job description has a determined idea of what the church needs in a youth pastor.

So the first thing you should ask in an interview is, “Can I do the job as it’s described?” The second question should be, “Do I want to do the job as it’s described?” If the answer is “yes” to both, then you’ve got a green light until the next intersection.

2. Playing fast and loose with sexual boundaries.

Be fanatically above reproach with all things sexual. A youth pastor friend told me he’d viewed online pornography a few times at work. So he decided to tell his senior pastor about it. As a result, the pastor had a website-reporting service installed on all church computers. Then the two of them shared my friend’s story with the church. He made a public confession and received forgiveness and restoration.

This extraordinary act birthed a ministry to other online-porn addicts. If my friend had tried to hide his problem, he might have been fired. Instead, God used an act of integrity to redeem a bad situation.