Is your job secure? Here’s a surprising rundown of “sins” that’ll get you the hook.
Here’s some breaking news: It’s no fun to get fired. Just ask a youth leader who’s been through it. After years in youth ministry, I’ve seen enough to know what it takes to get the hook. Avoid these mistakes, and you have a shot at enjoying a long ride at your current church.
1. Whiffing on the “no-brainer.”
The quickest way to get yourself 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 for the position has a determined idea of what the church is looking for in a youth pastor.(1) So the first thing you should ask when you interview for a position is, “Can I do the job as it’s described?” The second question you should ask is, “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 your sexual boundaries.
Be fanatically above reproach with all things sexual. A youth pastor friend of mine 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 Web site reporting service installed on all church computers. Then the two of them shared my friend’s story with the church. He then made a public confession and received forgiveness and restoration. This extraordinary act birthed a ministry to other men who are addicted to online pornography. If my friend had tried to hide what he’d done, he might have been fired. Instead, God used an act of integrity to redeem a bad situation.