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Staff Health

Where Have All the Youth Pastors Gone?

Today we want to share a video where we’ll discuss a problem that many churches are navigating: Where have all the great candidates gone?

Youth Pastors

A Problem That Many Churches are Navigating


“From my perspective, there are far more churches searching for student pastors than there are leaders available to serve. At any given moment, I expect that the total number of churches with funded positions exceeds the total number of student pastors by several thousand.” Richard Ross (Senior Professor of Student Ministry, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)


Today I want to share a video where we’ll discuss a problem that many churches are navigating:  Where have all the great candidates gone?




We’ll talk specifically about the apparent shortage of student ministry candidates in this video, but the points we cover will help you regardless of the type of position you are hoping to hire in the near future at your church.


Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss:


Slow-Burn Issues

  • Low pay
  • Not considered ‘real ministry’
  • Less taking a professional track 
  • Less taking the conventional ‘church staff’ route 
  • Fewer schools offering student ministry programs
  • Less denominational support/training
  • Less local church emphasis on life calling to ministry
  • Proliferation into other church roles 


Fast-Burn Issues

  • Many have left the ministry for more stable, less stressful, higher-paying roles
  • Many are considering leaving 
  • Many are tired, burned out, angry, bitter
  • The changing nature of the ‘call to ministry’


What does this mean if you’re hoping to hire a new youth pastor?

  • Good youth pastors are harder and harder to find
  • Finding a good youth pastor may take you longer
  • Your national search may become more of a regional or local search
  • You may need to look at unconventional options
    • Hiring from within
    • Hiring part-time
    • Hiring a fractional team member


In our work at Chemistry Staffing, we have a unique vantage point to see trends first-hand, and many times, as they happen.


If there is any way that I or the team at Chemistry Staffing can serve you and your church with your next hire, please feel free to reach out at any time. We are here to help and assist (even if that means just helping you get started with your own search. You can schedule some time with us here. We’d love to get to hear your story, what you're looking for, and share how we might be able to help.


Have a great week in ministry!



P.S. Want to learn more about our fractional option?... click here to learn more. Want to learn more about the Final Fit Assessment? ... click here. 


Are you open to a new ministry role?  Submit your free church staff profile  now...

Todd Rhoades

Todd Rhoades

Todd has invested over 30 years in serving churches, having served as a worship pastor for over 15 years, a church elder for more than a decade, and in various ministry leadership roles in both the business and non-profit sectors. As the original founder and developer of ChurchStaffing.com, Todd fundamentally changed the way thousands of churches search for pastors and staff on the internet. Todd is a graduate of Cedarville University, and lives in Bryan, OH with his wife, Dawn.

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