How to Hire a Former Youth Pastor

How to Hire a Former Youth Pastor

There is some inherent risk when hiring a former Youth Pastor (or Student Ministry Pastor) for a non Youth Pastor job. Success with students doesn’t guarantee success with adults. Understanding how to minister to a middle school girl doesn’t simply translate to working with a board of elders or developing relationships with city leaders. So should you hire a former Youth Pastor for a non-student ministry job?

Why Your Picture of Steve Jobs is Ruining Your Leadership Effectiveness

We seem to admire this picture we’ve created of the famous Steve Jobs. And why wouldn’t we. Steve created arguably the most successful company on the planet. We admire his “take no prisoners” drive and his incredible focus. Unfortunately I think we’ve unknowingly let some of the folklore influence how we lead.


There is this famous story of Steve Jobs getting into an elevator with an intern and asking him what he’s working on, then promptly firing the poor guy before arriving at his destination floor. In fact, it seems like so many of the stories we hear are around Steve firing team members.

Take a look at this clip for example:

You might say that this is just another example of Steve firing someone out of thin air, but I think there is something more important to notice here. 

Some believe that Steve had an opinion about everything, that there wasn’t a single part of any product that he didn’t “control”. But think about that for a minute. How many hours a day do you think it would take for Steve to hands-on micromanage every aspect of Apple’s operation? He couldn’t. It’s mathematically impossible. 

Go back and watch the clip again. Did you notice what Steve was focused on? He wasn’t focused on which “pretty font” the team was choosing.

We seem to believe that Steve would have been focused on that. The "folklore Steve" would have walked into the room and said “Arial font, are you crazy? Everything must be done in Helvetica!” But he didn’t do that. 

Steve was focused on vision. 

Our job as a leader of leaders it to drive the team forward towards the common goal. It’s the team’s job to align with that goal, to align with that vision and implement it. 

It’s very tempting to walk onto your campus every Sunday and jump into the details, but what’s even more important is that, as a leader, you walk onto your campus every Sunday and measure it against your values.

When you see a problem, ask yourself, does this align with our values? 

Only then, approach your team leader and discuss the misalignment…not the problem. 

Here’s why…YOU’RE TOO RESPECTED. If you just share your opinion, chances are you won’t get much pushback. The team will just implement your idea…but you’ll only have fixed this instance of the issue, you won’t have fixed the underlying problem. 

Instead, have your team help you solve the underlying problem. Chances are it will apply to more than just the “issue” that brought it to the forefront. 

One No Brainer Way To Build Your Organization's Culture

Culture is one of those ambiguous words we throw our organization. As leaders we have a sense of what we want it to be. We want a healthy culture. We want our staff and volunteers to consider our place a great place to work. But if a healthy culture is this secret sauce, how do we make sure everyone in our organization knows the recipe? 

Secret Sauce

Every team is different, every organization is more so. What worked at one doesn’t always work at the next. That means any time I’ve joined a new team I’ve had to spend some time observing. How does this team make decision? What do they say is most important? What’s actually most important?

Understanding how the new team works is critical to being able to survive and then thrive in the new environment.

So if that’s what it means to join a team, what does that mean for you as a team and/or organizational leader? 

It means that you’re rules of engagement have to be crystal clear. 

Most organizations now days have some form of a document that lists it’s mission, vision and values. There have been thousands of books and articles written on the importance of outlining these steering statements. And they're right. They are incredibly important. It’s even more important then that your organization is living out these statements. 

Enter, the no brainer way to build your organization's culture.

  1. Celebrate when people are living it out your mission, vision and values. 

Share their actions as crystal clear, real life examples of what it means to live out your organizational values. Have a party, give out awards. Show the rest of your organization the people and situations that exemplify who you are as an organization. These steering statements can’t just be words in a document some where. These are the things we value, the criteria by which we make decisions, the standard we hold each other to. 

Find a way to celebrate the examples you have. Look for opportunities to share real life stories that highlight these values (try a team email, see "How To Inform & Inspire Your Volunteer Team”). Have parties, share these examples before meetings or gatherings. Look for every opportunity to share to positive realization of what your organization says is most important. 

Without them being lived out, your mission, vision and values are just words on a page. And that’s not benefiting anyone. 

Question of the day: Are your mission, vision, values an accurate recipe for the culture you are trying to create?