Because I know most churches struggle in the area of hiring a youth minister or equipping one they already have, I’ve been doing quite a bit of research and reading on the subject of when and how to hire a youth minister. It should come to no surprise that the process should be done with great thought, prayer, and organization.
Few things surprised me in this research.
- It should take months to find the right candidate (versus the best of the worst) and hire them.
- Spreading the word to the most people, through the greatest amount of sources, will lead to the most qualified candidates. Cast a wide net.
- Have a job description ready to go so that the candidates know what to expect of the potential job.
- Ask lots of questions, do lots of research, and really get to know candidates through conventional and unconventional means.
- Offer a competitive salary. (This survey is from 2007, but is a helpful jumping off point.)
- Have support and structure in place to help the new person begin on a firm foundation.
Conventional wisdom suggests that the Search Team must wait for its new youth pastor’s arrival before worrying about the vision for the youth ministry. This assumption is built on the very unsustainable idea that it is somehow the new youth worker’s job to tell the church what ITS vision for youth ministry should be. (Devries and Dunn-Rankin, 35)