youth worker, youth ministry, student ministry, grow your own

Grow Your Own

By Doug Franklin September 24, 2009

I often get calls from churches seeking great youth ministry candidates for their open positions. They are all looking for the same thing. A 27-29 year-old who is married (wife must love discipling girls and youth ministry), has 6+ years of experience, has been to seminary, and wants to do youth ministry for the next 10 years. I tell every church the same thing – he doesn’t exist, and if he does, his church is paying him so much that he will never leave. This is why churches should have a youth ministry internship program. Today, with so many new churches (the multi-site craze is creating a shortage of youth workers), it’s necessary to create an incubator where youth workers can grow into the fantasy candidate their church wants.

The problem is, many churches are cutting their budget for youth ministry internship programs. This is a mistake, because it will cost more to hire a new youth pastor than any internship program will cost. After all, what does it cost a church to be without a youth pastor for a year and sometimes longer? Think it terms of families leaving, recruitment money, candidate visits, moving expenses, and loss of volunteers. Internship programs are cheap when you have a long term view. If you cut the internship program now, be prepared to pay in the future. If you want a great youth pastor 5 years from now, start growing him/her today.

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