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10 Things That Will Get You Fired

3. Chronically bucking your church’s theological non-negotiables.

You don’t have to outright rebel against your church’s theological sacred cows to get fired—all you have to do is repeatedly offer tepid support for them. This should be obvious, but too many youth workers who grew up evangelical wonder why they have a difficult time working in a mainline church or vice versa. Unless you plant your own church, you won’t find a dream theological match. So know your theological non-negotiables and know your church’s. Differences here can make a huge difference.

4. Ignoring conflicting ministry philosophies.

Your theological imperatives will drive what you do in ministry, but your ministry philosophy will drive how you do it. So it’s crucial that you and your church agree on the how to’s of ministry. You and your church might both value evangelism, but if you don’t agree on how to do evangelism, you’re sailing into a major storm. Also, if your church functionally defines “youth worker” as “events coordinator” but you see yourself as a pastor, you’d better spiff up your résumé because you’ll need it sooner than you expect.

5. Continually asking for forgiveness but never for permission.

Sure, that old saying “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” is a nice excuse the first few times you blow it, but if it becomes a habit, your new hobby might be looking up youth ministry openings on the Web. Learn the processes and procedures your church has set up and expects you to follow, then follow them.

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Len oversees Texas and New Mexico for the National Network of Youth Ministries & is the pastor of Simply Soul Care; the pastoral care service of Simply Youth Ministry. http://LenEvans.net & http://groupmagazine.com