The role, or job description, of a youth pastor is often confused by parents, leaders and youth pastors themselves. There have been many times where people think we are only there to entertain and teach a lesson. Sometimes, with those types of parameters as expectations for me, I would find myself trying to share my heart out in the pulpit for 30 minutes trying to change people’s hearts. I misunderstood the job description that was given to me as a youth pastor. I failed to understand that change cannot be  produced by just speaking a message. I often found myself knowing a structure of a sermon better than knowing the students themselves.

I sat down with one of my students one day and I asked how can we make our youth service better for you guys? He clearly responded with no doubt, “I don’t want sermons I want relationships.”

I realized that the way to produce change from the pulpit in the heart of my students was simple. I needed to be intentional with transforming my messages to something practical. I started spending more time with my youth. I learned so much about their lives and how they are hungry for God. My relationship with them changed my teaching!

We often teach good sermons but sometimes we forget how to translate our sermons to a set of skills to help students see Jesus in the middle of their problems and situations.. The deeper the conversations, the easier it will be to allow God to work in you and in them. Sometimes our teachings should begin well before our meeting, with a simple question – “Can we hang out sometime?”

Jose Trejo
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