Hi! I’m a Youth Pastor! I’m Lazy & Arrogant

Hi. My name is John. I’m a youth pastor. I’m lazy. And I’m arrogant.

This is a bit harsh, but from what I know of youth pastors (and of myself), we tend to be these two things. Lazy. And arrogant.

Why am I singling out youth pastors?

Because it’s true. It’s like the fallen nature of youth pastors is to
A) Think we know how to do things better than the senior pastors
B) Think we have all the right answers (If only people… If they just understood my way… If we could implement this book’s idea…)
C) Think we work harder than we do

Why do we think these things?
A) We’re young and immature (Let’s be honest. We usually don’t have much experience under our belt)
B) We read a lot and books have ALL the right answers
C) We are usually brash and outgoing type of people

I’m just being honest. This is my default mode. Fortunately, I do have a few years, although not a ton, under my belt. Not much has changed, except I’m more aware of these default modes and can nip them in the bud more quickly.

I’ve changed in recent years for the following reasons:

1. Mentors. I have 3-5 unbelievable mentors who hold me accountable. I meet every other week regularly with an absolute stud, and he holds me accountable to these things and provides insight where otherwise I couldn’t see. The others? I find time to pick their brains as often as possible so they can speak into my life. Plus, I observe and watch the “greats.” It’s amazing what you can learn by just surrounding yourself with top notch people.

2. I’ve become aware. It’s hard to look in the mirror, but boy oh boy, it’s so necessary. Please find ways for people to speak honestly into who you are. Find ways to hold up the mirror to yourself and ask real questions.

I had a conversation with one of my mentors yesterday. We talked about what it takes to sustain a high level of excellence each and every day. And it comes down to one thing.


That’s what you can control.

You can’t control:
* Results
* Level of excellence
* People’s perceptions
* Strategies and Iniatives

But you can control your integrity.

* Character
* Your heart
* Your spiritual composition
* Your claimed identity
* Your stewardship of the day
* The way you deal with people

To counter laziness and arrogance, ask yourself every day (and maybe several times a day): “What mode am I in?” “How am I being responsible with my character?” “Where is my heart today?”

And in the end, bring your “A” game every single day. Be present. Engaged. Loving. Passionate. You can control what you bring to the table each and every day. You can control your integrity, your character, and your heart.

As youth pastors, we must learn to navigate the default modes of laziness and arrogance, and seek to bring our best possible selves to the workplace and ultimately to the Kingdom each and every single day.

What are you doing to bring your best every day? Come on Youth Pastors! We need your A games!

4 thoughts on “Hi! I’m a Youth Pastor! I’m Lazy & Arrogant

  1. john, great post with wisdom and humility. if we can just harness that passion a little bit and refine by dying to our arrogance, we might actually be able to live into our full potential. may god truly bless you this week!


  2. Thanks Benjamin. I hope to remain humble, but I’m not always. I definitely let God know that he is God and I’m not, hoping He reminds me who is in control! Thanks for the comment dude!

  3. Thank you so much for this article. I was wondering if this were just my perception, then I found this site. It’s ironic, though. We have a youth pastor who is EXACTLY as you have described, but he is so arrogant that if I dared to even direct him to this article, he would have a fit and, of course, remain in complete denial. Anyway, thanks again for your openness and insight.

    • Hey Keith:
      Thanks for checking it out. Unfortunately, it is true of a lot of us youth pastors. Some of us (hopefully me) are trying to break the stereotype, but it will take a large percentage of youth pastors turning it around!

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