After six months of turning applications for secular positions and never getting so much as a call back, I sent of six resumes to churches seeking Youth Pastors a few weeks ago and, as of last week, I have been contacted by four of the six. So, I ask that anyone out there who reads this please be in prayer for me, that I would be sensitive to God's leading in whatever happens.
Also, one of the churches that contacted me sent me questionnaire. I have responded to all of the answers, but would like other peoples input. If you are willing and able, would you please read over what follows and challenge me if something I said seems off or whatever. In advance, thank you to anyone that my reply.
YOUTH PASTORAL CANDIDATE QUESTIONAIRE
- How do you interpret the role of a Youth Pastor?
I interpret the role of a Youth Pastor to be much like that of any other pastor or minister of the Gospel, namely the primary responsibility is to preach the Word of God and the Gospel that it contains and to model, in their life, the content of what they preach. I also interpret the role of a Youth Pastor to be such that he would assist the Senior Pastor in the training, equipping, and enabling of parents to disciple their children.
- What is your vision for youth in the church today?
I believe that in the society today, adults have come to expect too little of teenagers and because the adults do not expect much of them, they don't expect much of themselves. They expect teenagers to be lazy and do nothing more than sit around and listen to their iPod or play video games, etc. My vision is that both parents and teenagers would see the urgency of our situation. As Christians, we are at war with spiritual forces constantly, and the only weapon that we have in this war is God's Word. My vision for youth is to see them going deep in their reading and studying of the Bible, seeking to apply it to their lives, and live out its truths.
- What are your beliefs about the Bible, The Church, Salvation, the work of the Holy Spirit?
The Bible is God's inerrant, infallible, inspired Word and is the primary tool that we have in our growth in Godliness.
The Church is the body and bride of Christ, outside of which there is generally no salvation. All true believers should seek to enter into fellowship with other believers, entering into this covenant community through the ordinance of baptism for the purpose of mutual encouragement and discipline.
I believe that salvation, from first to last, is wholly the work of God. From eternity past God the father chose out of all people a covenant community for himself and destined them for eventual Christ-likeness. In time God the Son, Jesus, secured the redemption of God's covenant people by His death on the Cross. And God the Spirit applies that redemption to all those who turn in faith to Christ's finished work.
The work of the Holy Spirit is first to bring about spiritual regeneration enabling people to repent of sin and turn to Christ in faith. Secondly, the work of the Holy Spirit is to apply the secured redemption purchased by Christ to the one who turns in faith, as I already stated. Thirdly, the work of the spirit in the believer is to grow them in holiness before God, by preparing their hearts to receive the teaching of God's Word.
- What is your belief on the Genesis account of creation?
My position on the Genesis account of creation is that God spoke all of creation into existence and fashioned it by the power of His might. Whether, that was in six literal days or in six epochs of timeor some other thing, I am not sure.
- What version of the Bible do you prefer & Why?
In my reading, devotions, and preaching I use the English Standard Version of the Bible. I use this version because it is very accurate in its translation of the original languages. Also, I enjoy the ESV because of the language that it uses, it being simultaneously easy to read, but also not shying away from the theological language that has been present in both Testaments from the time of their writing.
- How do you believe a person can be saved? Can anyone be saved?
I believe that a person can only be saved by the grace of God alone, through faith in Christ alone, and because of the perfect righteousness of Christ alone.
My answer to the second part of this question is three-fold. Firstly, no one can be saved apart from Christ. Secondly, from the perspective of God, not all will be saved. Thirdly, from the perspective of man, all peoples can be saved, if they turn to Christ in salvation.
- Share your salvation experience:
When in High School, I had a group of friends share the Gospel with me. I was not saved at that time, but several years later, God used the turmoil surrounding the birth of my eldest son to break my spirit and bring me to a place of repentance and submission.
- Describe your call to the ministry?
From the time I was a small boy, I have loved to study and teach. When I was younger, I would study about archaeology, anthropology, paleontology, astronomy, biology, physics, etc. When God saved me, this love of studying and teaching was brought to bear on the Bible.
- Describe your greatest strength/ weakness as a Youth Pastor?
My strengths and weaknesses as a Youth Pastor flow from a common source. My greatest strength, I believe, is that I expect much of teenagers. I don't cut them any slack for being 'just kids' because teenagers aren't 'just kids,' they are young adults and I believe they should be treated as such. However, at the same time, I also, at times, expect too much of teenagers, not taking into account the transitional period they are in, in their lives.
- How would you counsel youth: that are experiencing family problems? drug problems? spiritual problems? peer problems? Please explain.
Without knowing the circumstances, it would be impossible to tell you exactly how I would counsel youth in these situations. However, no matter the case, I would seek to point them to Christ and to follow His example. I would also try to bring in the parents in on all of these situations, since it is their duty to disciple their children in the Lord.
- How would you counsel a young woman or young man alone? (Explain)
Before I give my answer, I would like to say that I am assuming that this question is about boundaries and integrity with the opposite sex. That being said, I would not council a young woman alone, if I counseled them at all. If a young woman came to me seeking counsel, I would either have her talk to my wife or some other godly woman in the church or wait until such time as one of those afore mentioned people could join me in counseling that individual.
- If married, what is your wife's roll in your ministry?
My wife's role in my ministry will primarily be that of support. She will tend to our children and make sure that our home is a safe place for me to land when I am there, giving me support and encouragement and whatever way she can. Outside of her activities in the home, she would assist other ways, such as counseling young women, as needed, and being there to bounce ideas off of or to read over messages.
- If married, have you or your wife been previously married? If yes explain.
Neither my wife nor I have been married before.
- Are there any circumstances in your personal life and/or family that would affect your youth pastorate?
There are no such circumstances that I know of that would affect my youth pastorate, other than the needs of my own family, which must come first.
- Tell us about your devotional life and plans for personal growth.
My devotional life is like that of anyone else: I have up times where God is really speaking to me and I have down times where I am not getting anything out of the Word and even times where I am struggling to get into the Word at all. Currently, I am reading in the psalms and getting ready to go through the book of Galatians. As far as plans for spiritual growth, the only plans I have are to continue to read my Bible, seek to sit under good Godly preachers, and unite in fellowship with other believers for the purpose of worship and mutual discipline and proclaiming the Gospel to the nations.
- Are you willing to boldly speak Gods true word and preach the Bible if called upon?
Yes, it is the duty of anyone who would preach the Word to do so boldly. However, they must do so not only with boldness, but also with humility because in that role, the message they proclaim is not their own, they are serving as the mouth-piece of God.
- How would you integrate the youth group with other age groups that make-up the membership of the Church?
It is my belief that parents are the ones responsible for their children's discipleship, and thus, their involvement with the rest of the church body. However, I would do my part to encourage the youth to join in regular worship services, and not just youth services. I would also seek to bring in other members of the church, from various age groups, assist in youth services, counseling, accountability, mentorship, and teaching.
- How comfortable do you feel about working with other age groups that make-up the membership of the church?
It makes me uncomfortable to work with other age groups, but not necessarily in a bad way. Working with other age groups, challenges me to get out of my comfort zone and enable me to see life and ministry from other perspectives.
- What is your philosophy on missions and music?
Missions are an essential part of the Christian life. However, missions does not necessarily entail taking a trip to someplace else. As Christians, we should constantly be living on mission, seeking to make Christ known wherever we are.
I love music and think that it is a great way to express our praise and worship to God. I prefer traditional hymns mostly because they seem to focus more on God, rather than the experience of the individual believer. However, I do also appreciate some newer praise songs because they have tried to regain the God-ward focus that is intrinsic to true worship. All of that being said, I am not very gifted musically; so, in order to incorporate music into youth services I would need the assistance of someone in the church.
- What are your views on homosexuality and abortion?
Abortion is murder. Homosexuality is a sin. Although that is the case, the people that commit these things are still human beings, and thus, are fellow image-bearers of God and should not be ostracized. In the eyes of a holy God all sin is equally offensive and deserving of His wrath and condemnation. Also, if that person puts their trust in Christ, that sin will be equally forgiven.
- Are you leaving your current church due to conflict? (If yes explain.)
No, I am not leaving my church because of conflict.
- Have you ever been asked to resign from a position in a church? If yes, Explain.
No, I have never been asked to resign from a ministry position.
- Have you ever been arrested? If yes explain.
No, I have never been arrested.
- Would you be willing to have a criminal records check?
Yes, I would be willing to have my criminal record checked.