What is the average salary of a youth pastor?
A Youth Pastor
A youth pastor may be one of those under-appreciated, over-worked ministries in the church. When someone says, “Hey, this’ll be harder than a youth lock-in,” you can see their point. A youth pastor is dealing with “hormones on wheels” anywhere from between 6th grade and seniors. It’s not easy at all because most of the youth’s attention span has been shortened by the videogame age where snippet of news and 10 second sound bites come quickly so that they won’t lose the viewer’s attention and when they’ve got it, they’ll keep it. How is the youth pastor supposed to keep the attention of young people in an age when everyone seems to be stir-crazy and can’t even lay down their smart phone for a second?
A youth pastor may work for nothing at many churches and particularly the smaller ones and even if they draw a salary, it is likely not enough to support himself and so he is probably forced to work to support himself and his family, if he has one. The same is true of many pastors. Since a pastor cannot be at every place all the time, he must learn to delegate some of his duties that are non-pastoral, just like a youth-pastor should. An effective pastor will include care and nurturing of the youth and help others to learn about Christ and what that looks like in the world. God’s calls the youth pastor into the ministry and not the man calling himself, just as it says in 1st Corinthians 12:18-20, “God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.”
A Youth Pastor’s Salary
For most youth pastors around the nation that I know of, they work for free; at least in the sense of mankind’s thinking because their rewards don’t come in this life with money or benefits but in the next life or after death when God will reward every man and woman according to their works for the Lord. The Apostle Paul writes to the church at Rome, “He will render to each one according to his works. To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury” (Rom2:6-8). It’s obvious that youth pastors don’t get into youth ministry for the money as a youth pastor averages a salary of only $32,729 with a salary ranging from $21,507 to $55,000. Only youth pastors who serve in the largest of churches draw close to $55,000 but their workload is equal to that of a pastor since there are many duties that a youth pastor has to do but he also is a counselor, a mentor, a teacher, and sometimes it probably feels like, a baby sitter.
I taught Sunday school for elementary children for over 20 years and much later these now-grown children have families of their own and many of them still remember what they learned while in Sunday school. It’s truly remarkable that they remember things that I had long since forgotten, so let me speak to you youth pastors. Your impact can last a lifetime, either positively or negatively so don’t grow discouraged because it doesn’t feel like you’re getting through to them. They might not seem like it but some of them are listening but it won’t come to surface in their life until much later. Like a farmer plants a seed, it takes a long time before he or she sees any fruit.
You will never know, in most cases, how great of an impact you have left with the youth as a youth pastor. Like I wrote earlier, you may never see the seed you planted sprout. You might not hear of any results and you probably won’t see the fruit of your labor in their life until much, much later but don’t give up; “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do” (Heb 6:10).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.