A friend of mine recently asked me, "What are the key qualities I would look for in a youth pastor?"...
Well, it'd be lame for me to answer as a youth pastor by making a list that is not also one that I'm trying to embody myself. So, here's both what I'd be looking and who I'm trying to be:
A TEAM PLAYER: by default, the youth pastor is almost never calling the shots for the whole church. Even if they have some key influence you're going to need someone who can lead and build a team as a champion of a mission that is not solely their own.
VISION: I'd want to bring in someone who has a dream that is something close to "inviting a generation to understand, own, and live out a life changing faith in Jesus." It doesn't have to be those words, but I'd be looking for someone who has a passion to build a ministry that champions something close to that.
PASSION FOR GOD AND STUDENTS: I think we need youth pastors that actually love students and not just the job. They have to want to disciple and not just entertain or gather students.
AUTHENTIC: We need pastors who know their own stuff stinks and have grace for others when they fail. We don't need anymore plastic pastors with a painted on smile and a Jesus sticker on their car. We need real faith lived out in the real world where some days go good and some days do not.
KINGDOM MINDED. As a network coordinator, I'm trying to care as much if not more that Jesus wins than our church does. The end game is not the biggest youth ministry, it's working together to see students transformed in the Kingdom of God- regardless of where that happens. I'd want someone who does not have this local church as the axis around which the rest of the global church rotates.
GET IT FACTOR: I don't know what that means really. I just want to be and hire pastors who have their head on straight and their life is oozing this stuff.
PROVEN TRACK RECORD: I'm trying to personally create and hire people with a reputation that says they live what they believe.
FAITH AND ZEAL: I'm looking to be and work with pastors that say, "let's rock this place and change the world one student at a time." I have no interest in those who want mediocre student ministry. If youth ministry is not worth doing well, then it's not worth doing. Period.
There's my list. What would you add or change?