Peer Groups for Youth Pastors?

As discussed in our blog, Holy Spoke, the importance of having strong spokes inside your wheel is key to keeping things rolling! This is one of those important spokes.

Peer Group

It’s really necessary one way or another to make sure you are involved with a peer group of fellow youth pastors.  If one doesn’t exist in your town, create one yourself and host it at your church location!  Meeting monthly with other people who do the same job you do is important, helpful, and at times may become really necessary for your personal sanity. Your ministry is a very specialized area of employment with it’s own unique challenges. Talking with people who understand your world and your daily experience can be very helpful.

5 Steps To Leading a Healthy Youth Pastor Peer Meeting:

  1. Whatever is said there, stays there.  In order for people to feel free enough to open up and share their challenges they need to know it will be kept confidential.
  2. No numbers games, comparing facilities or competing.  It is easy to make the mistake of having your numbers be the defining dynamic of whether your ministry is “successful” for not. Numbers fluctuate from year to year for several different reasons beyond your control. You want your group of peers to become a team so they can cheer and encourage each other.
  3. Mandatory Time Limit allows everyone to share highs and lows with the group.  Using an alarm is a necessary and objective way for everyone to get a chance to share, receive feedback and support.
  4. Do a Book Study.  This gives the group a focus and a way to hold each other accountable to growing their YM skills.  Reading on your own just won’t happen otherwise.
  5. Sharing prayer requests and closing the group in prayer is important.  Ultimately the youth we work with are not ours but God’s.  We need to always remember that the kids have a savior and it is not us!

3 Bonuses That Come With Developing a Peer Group

  1. You may develop a close friendship or two out of this group which could help you develop your “Social Room” like discussed in my blog Hide-a-way Castle In Your Fishbowl World.
  2. Building these relationships could open open up the possibilities to creating some unique combined youth group experiences for your kids. Larger group experiences can be energizing both for your students and for you as leaders. It is more than okay for you, the leaders, to be having some fun with your peers while you minister to your teens!
  3. Working side by side with your fellow youth ministers also give your students a chance to see observe a good example of God’s people working together.

Please add to the conversation.  We’ll be glad you did.  Be kind and share this with someone who would benefit from a ministry support group.  If you start a group, or are already in a group, let us know what’s working for you and what you’ve learned. For more info on peer groups, check this out.


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