In my experience there are two big factors that drive people out of professional youth ministry.
- Burnout – We are a tribe that works too hard, for too many hours, for too long, and forgets to take care of ourselves. One of the things my co-laborer at The Youth Cartel, Mark Oestreicher, says is, “A healthy youth ministry starts with a healthy youth worker.” I’ve seen this play out time and again throughout my career. Sadly, many of us drop out of youth ministry– and ministry altogether– because of the impact of burnout.
- Compensation – When I started out in youth ministry I think I was just amazed that I got paid for doing what I loved and was called by God to do. But then my wife and I had kids, bought a house, started thinking about the future, started dealing with the expenses of raising a family… adult life got expensive! Over the years I’ve watched an enormous amount of my friends leave youth ministry for other types of ministry or other careers altogether over compensation issues.
These two items are inter-related. In our Youth Ministry Coaching Program cohorts we work hard on the first item, helping youth workers develop life rhythms that promote longevity in ministry. And we’re thankful to partner with Dan Navarra to bring issues around compensation to the forefront.
This is the second year that Dan has published the results of his massive, online survey of youth worker compensation. Based on feedback from last year he made this years report much more extensive. Here’s how he describes it:
This year, we’ve heard the cry of our people, and compiled some focused data around the gender gap in YP compensation, and also created a mechanism that allows you to calculate your state’s salary average adjustment compared to the national average. We’ve also done some “profiling” of a few of our most highly represented youth pastor’s, with the hope that it creates a broader understanding of how this data works together to help you understand what the youth pastor Market indicates your average salary should be based on overall experience, current tenure, education, and location. I think there are a few ‘home run’ pieces of wisdom any youth pastor can glean from reading the full report that you won’t want to miss. We’ve got information about things like the housing allowance and opting out of social security that can literally put more money in your pocket each month without costing the church a penny more than they are already paying you.
Dan’s report is 14-pages of goodness and is available for free. Just fill out the form below and we’ll email it to you.