The Senior Pastor or administrator values the youth ministry over the cm
“How do I work with a senior pastor or administrator who values youth ministry over children’s ministry (CM)?”
You have been hired to serve under, and support, this senior pastor or administrator. This doesn’t mean that you must agree with everything he stands for, but it does mean that you must be respectful while carefully expressing your own views.
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 1Peter 3:15
Your senior pastor or administrator uses terms with which he/she is comfortable. If he/she is older, he/she may be using the term “youth ministry” as a broad title for everything under the age of adults. This was typical in the 60’s or 70’s. If this is true, you may just have to help him/her adjust the terminology to include both “youth ministry” and “children’s ministry” respectively. If you sense that he/she is using the term “youth ministry” because he/she respects the youth ministry more than the children’s ministry (CM), then you can begin to respectfully help him/her see the power and fruit of the CM.
Adjusting the terminology used is not an easy fix. You may have to respectfully correct him/her periodically. If he/she is referring to the CM, but uses the term “youth ministry,” you can simply ask, “Did you mean children’s ministry?” If this misuse of the term “youth ministry” is something that the entire church staff uses, your job is more challenging. You might need to publish an article or email to the whole staff highlighting the differences between the youth ministry and the children’s ministry. If you do this, make sure to support the powerful need and uniqueness of the youth ministry, while also underscoring the vital importance of the CM.
You might have to identify which ages pertain to which ministry. If your church has a youth ministry, this is something that you and the director of the youth ministry can do together. If your church or organization doesn’t have a youth ministry but refers to everyone under a certain age as “youth,” it would be good for you to begin the process of separating the “youth” from the “children” in terminology.
It is important to understand that youth (usually middle school age through high school) don’t like to be referred to as “children,” but children probably don’t mind being referred to as “youth.” Your differentiation between the two ages becomes more critical when there are programs and ministries for both groups.
If your church has a youth ministry, and your senior pastor or administrator seems to value the youth ministry over the CM, you can help him/her see the power of the CM through weekly email updates that tell stories or testimonies from the children, the CM team, or the parents. You can also interview some of your consistent parents in the CM and ask them why they chose to come to this church. You can then share the results of these informal interviews with the senior pastor or administrator to help him/her understand that families will stay or leave the church based on the CM.