youth worker, student ministry, youth ministry

6 Worries of a Youth Worker

By Doug Franklin August 6, 2013

Youth workers always seem worried to me. It may be because they are in a stage of life that changes quickly or they feel like they are never settled because being a youth worker feels like you are always on the hot seat. I don’t know all the reasons but I do know that being worried doesn’t help you with confidence. If youth workers could identity and deal with some of these worries I think it would help them be more effective leaders. I have made a list of a few of the worries I see most often but I do believe there are many more. Here is what I got:

6. Worried about numbers
The number one question youth workers answer most is, “How many students were at youth group this week?” If that is the questions it’s no wonder youth workers are worried about numbers.

5. Worried about pay
Youth workers don’t often make enough money and they are worried that they might have to change jobs or leave the ministry due to lack of funds. The money issues put pressure on their marriage. It also causes them to distrust church leaders and leads to conflict between them and the pastor.

4. Worried about fraud
I talk with youth workers all the time that have no idea on how to do their jobs. They didn’t get any training before they started and no one is mentoring them now. They are scared to death that the parents and the pastors are going to figure they don’t have any idea on how to help students in their faith. They were hired because students like them, not because they knew how to lead students, volunteers, parents and the church in youth ministry.

3. Worried about marriage
Single youth workers worry about getting married and how being single will effect their ministry. They struggle because churches often treat them like second second class citizens because they are the youth minster and they are single. Married youth workers worry about if they have enough time for their spouse. They are usually young marrieds and they are struggling with the first few years of marriage.

2. Worried about parents
Most youth workers don’t have the experience to deal with parents and so they avoid them. They try and pretend like they don’t exist. For these youth workers most encounters with parents go bad. They don’t come across open and honest and parents don’t care for that. Until trust and partnership are created these relationship will go bad.

1. Worried about competition
They say they have a desire for collaboration with other youth workers in town but their actions seem more like they are in competition with other youth workers. We all wonder if the program down the street will attract our students away and we feel pressure to have activities that are better than the others around us. This sense of worry is not helped by the pressure some youth workers feel to get a bigger youth ministry (YM), bigger church, greater impact in the YM world and to be seen as important.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More