1.) The Overly Competitive Jock
Proudly throws dodgeballs at a middle schooler's face. Sports will always be a part of this ministry and they cannot stand to lose. They love to rub their victories in the losing team’s face and always have to choose who is on whose team. You'll notice they're almost always the referee and game master in addition to being the MVP. His youth ministry is almost always 21 teenage boys – enough for a game of american football. Remarkably, he is almost always out of shape and overweight. For real. How does that happen?
2.) The Reality TV Game Show Host
Youth Group night is guaranteed to be a mixture of Fear Factor and Survivor. This guy loves testing your gag reflexes. It’s not a successful night unless the new kid throws up. Drinking coca-cola through the sock you wore to youth group and just finished playing dodgeball in is run of the mill stuff. You will play Chubby Bunny and other death defying games. If you’ve ever wanted to know how far you can spit a cockroach or how much milk is too much milk – just spend a year in this dude’s ministry and all of your questions will be answered.
3.) The Hype Master
Every event is LIT or AMAZING or going to be amazing and GOD's always MOVING POWERFULLY. He's definitely going to do GREAT THINGS TONIGHT. Identified by Excessive use of hashtags and capital letters. He's always telling students how excited he is for what's to come. He’s super excited to be here right now and he’s excited to tell everyone about all the exciting things that are planned because the only way to communicate excitement is to say excitement over and over again. If you’re not excited then you’re obviously not in ministry because students only come to exciting things. Make no mistake about it whatever the next event is WILL BE THE BEST EVENT WE’VE EVER HAD.
4.) The Devil’s Advocate
Would rather be teaching a college philosophy course. Provides more questions than answers and they pride themselves on confusing students and watching them "wrestle with God." Loves Richard Rohr, Rob Bell, Blue Like Jazz, and anything from Origen.
They think they're profound when they ask if God is all powerful then can He create a rock too heavy for him to lift? OR Where did God come from and what caused Him?
5.) The God Complex
This youth pastor tries to swoop in and save the day every time the opportunity arises. Trouble at school? He’s there. Trouble with parents? She’s there. Trouble with your girlfriend? Yep, there they are. Moreso this person is never wrong, loves to hear themselves talk, never needs to ask for help or apologize. They rarely praises their volunteers and love to take credit for the things God accomplishes through their ministry. More likely than not they talk badly about other youth ministries and previous youth pastors. No one knows the best way to do things except for this guy.
6.) The Still In High School
This Youth Pastor tends to manifest himself in two ways: Literally and Figuratively.
It seems like this guy graduated high school and the church needed to figure out what to do with their one college student. I know – make him the youth pastor? After all, he probably knows how to connect with teens better than anyone and the experts are always talking about how youth ministry is just a codename for relationships. When he’s not playing video games, this guy spends his spare time trying to figure out who he is. He has a hard time cooking himself meals but it’s cool because taco bell. The only verse he has memorized is, "The Bible says don't let anyone look down on your for being young."
The truth is, this guy graduated high school a long time ago but he never really grew up. The church hired him because he was enthusiastic, vibrant, and seemed to connect with kids. After all, all high school students are extroverts right? He does connect with kids but he struggles to help them connect with God. He’s always getting involved in their drama and does his fair share of stirring the pot. On a positive note, they really like spending time at high schools and meeting new students. Honestly? There are youth pastors who are spiritually and emotionally immature: They are quick to hold grudges, love gossiping with students, chase after money, and worry about whether or not they’re cool.
7.) The DIY Pastor
This pastor never asks for help, runs himself ragged, he’s the church martyr and also happens to be the church deacon and the church custodian and groundskeeper. He probably has a very active Pinterest account filled with great ideas that he’s waiting to execute. Definitely puts in 60+ hours a week. The good news is, his youth room looks amazing and always will because wood pallets will never go out of style…
8.) More Degrees than Fahrenheit
Messages are too deep, way too much Greek, and is angry that his students don't have a deeper faith. They have all the answers and only accept one very specific interpretation of Revelation. They spend too much time preparing their 45 min messages and not enough time connecting and administrating. They actually want to be a preaching pastor but not like the one at their church, because he isn't deep enough. Not enough meat. His go-to lessons are always on apologetics.
9.) Earthy New Age Hipster
Tries to get his kids to do liturgical prayers and sing only remakes/modernized hymns. Obsessed with prayer labyrinths and wishes he was a Trappist brewing monk. There’s a good chance he has a man bun and/or longboard. Beards are mandatory but shoes are always optional. If he forgets to plan a lesson or a game he usually lights a candle and asks students to stare at the flame for an hour and reflect on what it means for God to be the light - usually while they sit in a circle with their legs crossed, holding hands, and doing a breath prayer.
10.) The 90’s Youth Pastor
Identifiable from a distance because every graphic uses grunge textures, emphasizes that students shouldn't make "purple", wears Christian parody tees and WWJD bracelets, does a yearly "silver ring thing" or "True Love Waits" series, wonders why students don't burn secular CDs at camps anymore. And definitely sports a soul patch.
What other worst types of youth pastors would you add to the list?