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I could certainly never forget to throw the Youth Workers under the bus add our diligent, loving cast of YOUTH WORKERS to our list of characters in the Youth Department!

Warning: these descriptions may or may not resemble YOU or your ministry at all. This is done for entertainment purposes only. And because it’s my blog, and frankly, I’m a funny lady. I am not picking out anyone in particular unless I name you personally, like I randomly shout out PAM’S name on a continual basis. Again, I’m a funny lady.

Cast of Youth Workers in the Youth Department:

The Breakfast Lady: this lady is usually OLD and is an *A*MAZING* cook! She is kind and good and loves on all the kids, even The Scary ones. She is usually the one that firmly reminds The Cool kids to pick up their mess. She also gives out extra-large helpings to the kids that need it. And reminds the teenage girls to pull up their overly-revealing tops. The first time, nicely, after that, she’ll just reach over and pull up your top for you. Be on her GOOD side. Love her. She also is the one with the Inspiring Testimony to share if anyone stops long enough to listen. Everyone wants her for their Grandma.

The Too-Old-for-Youth-Too-Young-for-Adult-Class: This is the one that just graduated high school, and their church does not have a college class. If this is the case, they are absorbed back into the Youth department, awkwardly. They’ve probably heard all the lessons and funny stories, and have nothing in common with the 6th graders whose biggest problem facing them is acne and the school bully. Make a College class for these students.

The Friend: this is the Youth minister that wants to be EVERYONES friend! Youth events are VERY frequent, but actual teaching never takes place. Everyone loves him, but his teaching and preaching skills are sorely lacking. Is usually afraid to ruffle feathers by calling anyone out on their sin or behavior. This is the one to be careful of. They can lead teenagers down a path of a forever failing relationship with God, if they have one at all. I give this leader a terrorist threat level of RED. Sadly, this kind of leader also can go hand in hand with the:

The Clique Leader: this is the one that hangs out with CERTAIN teenagers during Off-church times. You know the kind: has “Youth events” that only certain teenagers are invited to, calls certain youth to go to the movies/dinner/putt-putt/etc. Certain youth: noun, usually the Cool teenagers or the Popular. This leader also gets a terrorist threat level of Red. In some incidents, it gets a terrorist threat level of BLACK, meaning he can be predatory and a danger. This kind of Clique leader can destroy a Youth department.

The Single Youth worker: not usually a youth minister, but helps out in the Youth department, usually in the mid-twenties. This is the one that strangely flirts with all the youth girls, and in some weird cases, marries them when they graduate from school. This one frankly weirds me out.

The Watcher: this one sounds scary, but is really harmless. This is usually the parent of one of the teenagers, goes on all the events, and just in general WATCHES to make sure the Youth are acting accordingly. Sadly, The Watcher’s teenager can take advantage of this situation if not watched themselves. Also, sadly, this teenager is usually the one that gets embarrassed the most by The Watcher. (Sorry Austin.)

The Jock: EVERY Youth department must have one of these! The ex-football star that gives some kind of sports analogy for ALL of their lessons they teach! The youth boys LOVE him, and the youth girls usually watch him with a furrowed brow with their head cocked to the side in total bewilderment: “It’s like, he’s SPEAKING English….but I have NO clue what he’s saying….” This is also the one that gets out and plays in all the games and is usually overly competitive with all the teenagers and flexes at weird moments. Terrorist threat level of YELLOW, usually harmless until he tackles one of the 6th graders and breaks his collar bone.

The Lazy: this worker is the one that shows up for all the fun stuff, doesn’t help set up, purchase anything, or help clean up. They come to play. These workers are frankly useless….let them walk the plank….

The Burned Out: Probably started out with an amazing fire, but somewhere down the line, lost it. This can happen in several ways: too many teenagers/not enough workers, did too much too fast, wavering walk with God, or have been there for too long. This worker can be dangerous for many reasons: their attitude can frankly suck, half-heartedness transfers to the teenagers, and they no longer are effective in reaching and teaching. They do not like to do events or have anything to do with the youth outside of Sunday School. Often vacant from services. Unprepared for most stuff. This leader/worker needs a long sabbatical, one in which they may or MAY NOT return. This worker is commonly known also as:

The Shrew: This worker sees everything as BAD. This worker may not be burned out at all, they just may be in a bad mood for 40 years. This worker hates all events AND all the teenagers and takes every opportunity to let them know. This kind of worker is TOXIC. Find them a happy far away field filled with rainbows and daisies and leave them there. They may not be happy, but they will be far away.

The Out of Touch: This is the worker that is simply OUT OF TOUCH with either society, the times, or oftentimes, reality. They like to do balloon animals in strange clown costumes and relate it to odd stories from the Bible. They have no idea of computers, fashion trends, or that people can call other people by little phones in their pockets. There may be medications that help these workers….

The Go-Getter: this is the leader with BIG dreams of HUGE ministries in LARGE churches…..and Youth ministry is where you have to start the climb up the ladder. They are biding their time until they are “called” to another higher rung, higher up the food chain of church ministry. They neither have a heart for teenagers, or plans to stay there. Youth ministry is just a stepping stone.

The All-Overs: (this one is from my son, Austin) this is the worker that may be mentally touched in the head a bit. His/Her teaching is ALL OVER the place and they may or MAY NOT come to a point at all. This person usually adds lots and lots of odd hand gestures. This person is very very fun to watch and listen to, but may be lacking in substance.

The Scary: this leader is very unlike The Scary teenager. This minister uses unusual tactics to teach and preach and is commonly thought of as SCARY, hence the name. This is the one that screams lessons to you with crazy eyes and runs around the room. This person also randomly walks and jumps OVER pews. And in many cases, their hair is a miriad of colors and spiked up randomly all over their head, if they haven’t completely shaved it off entirely. Tattoos may also be visible. Their fire for Christ is contagious and their loud methods are effective for most Youth. This is the one to carefully watch, although emulating is beyond most of our intelligence, their hunger for God is spread, and they are entertaining to watch and listen to. Hire him if you can hold him down long enough.

The Mom: Every Youth department needs this kind of worker. She’s the one all the Needy will go to for help, attention, and love when they do not get it from home. (I can’t say anything bad about this worker, because I fall into this category.) She’s usually the cook (this is not me…sadly) and the one that comes early and stays late (not always for me. LOL). This is the one the church needs to buy a new computer for….wait….that was a joke. LOL (I’m desperate) She is dorky, and probably odd most of the time, and shares stories of her kids that usually embarrasses them (if they KNEW about them {maniacal laughter}), but she’ll go on all the events and pick up whoever needs a ride and probably scare EVERY teenager when she wears a bathing suit on the float trip. And she has a testimony to share if they’ll listen.

The point of all of this is that we need to be diligent with our walks with God and determine continuously if this is still our calling from God. More on that Here. We have to be willing to be honest with God and ourselves and examine our hearts constantly.

And remember to ask God to remove us when we are no longer effective.

Or sane: ;)

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