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youth worker, student ministry, youth ministry

Opposite Of What We Had

By Doug Franklin June 6, 2013

I have noticed that when a church hires a new youth worker they often hire the opposite of what they had. This is very natural and happens in many professions. We don’t like the old youth worker’s handling of parents and adult volunteers. So we hire a new youth worker who is older and has kids in high school. Our past youth worker was horrible at communication so the new person is going to have to have strong skills in communication. While there is a short-term gain for doing this, there can be a long-term loss as well.

Don’t forget that the last youth worker actually did some good things as well. Will the new person do the same things well? Just because a person is good at the one thing that our last youth worker was bad at, do they still share our values and mission? Hiring someone because of the actions of the last youth worker is showing poor judgement. A knee jerk reaction that could actually hurt more than it helps.

So what if you are the new hire? I think it would be wise to know why they hired you. Was it because of the past actions of the old youth worker? If it was, also be sure to ask what the old youth worker did well. Understanding the church’s youth ministry history will help you understand expectations. When you understand the hidden expectations you will be better prepared to serve the church.

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