Effeciency or Relational?


I’ve only been a pastor for a short time, but I’ve noticed this expectation on pastors to be more than they are or can be. Pastors seem to be expected to not only do their job, but to grow their ministry numerically, to plan events, programs, and ministry opportunities and maintain a healthy home as well. Being a multi-tasker is almost a must for the modern day pastor and some pastors have it worse than others.

I’m a little biased because I’m in Youth Ministry but, Youth Pastors are often expected to:
preach twice a week,
plan games for at least their mid-week service,
plan a small group ministry for their students
lead a small group,
plan a calendar full of fun events,
organize camps and retreats,
as well as spend time with students
and if married have a healthy marraige
and if they have children, be a good father/mother

I’m not trying to make excuses for pastors (or YPs specifically) but wow that seems like a lot, and I forgot to mention that pastors also have to maintain a healthy spiritual life. I’m kinda freakin’ my self out here, thats a lot of expectations. In Youth Ministry should we actually expect all this? Do students need a pastor that is running in 20 different directions to sit down with them to listen (or pretend to?) Or do students need a pastor that is well connected to God, and truly ready to listen and pour into them? Do students need programs or relationships? Do they need calendars or presence? Do they need knowledge or God?

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4 thoughts on “Effeciency or Relational?

  1. ztanksley says:

    Good thoughts there Matt.

    My 2 Cents:

    It is a lot to do, no doubt about that. But I think there is a symbiotic relationship between efficiency and relationships in this case. If you are efficient with your tasks, it leaves more room for the various relationships with students, your wife, you and God, your kids when the role around. And when you have lots of great relationships with various people, then more often then not you have enough help to handle all those tasks?

  2. Matt Anderson says:

    Good thoughts! I like that line of thought, anyone else have any thoughts?

  3. Dr Mekis says:

    Through lots of those retreats and events and things like youth group kids and leaders alike are able to build their relationships. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

  4. Matt Anderson says:

    I think we are missing the point. The point is often programing becomes more important than the relational aspect. If we can do enough 'Fun Programs' we can grow the ministry from 30 students to 50, then we are successful. The problem with this paradigm is that once those students graduate and move on to college their program support system is gone, and their foundation is weak, because it's about the 'programs' and numbers and not about the relationship and spiritual depth. The result is 50% of HS seniors that proclaim Christ as Lord do not proclaim that at all when they are College Seniors. I'm not saying it's either or, I'm saying, that focusing too much on programs damages the long term goal of Youth Ministry. The only reason to have a program is to develop relationships, if the program can't help do that, well . . .

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