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A Hiring Covenant for Churches

The overwhelming majority of those who commit their lives to Christ make that commitment before they reach age 18. That makes childhood and adolescence our primary “harvest field” in the church. And that means the workers we hire to “plow that field” play a pivotal role in God’s great mission. With that in mind, it seems good to put some hopes and expectations on the table and ask churches that will be using this hiring service to consider these values as they post positions.

We will pray and spiritually support

The spiritual support the church gives the youth worker is vital too. A common phrase to remember in ministry is that, “we can not give away what we don’t have ourselves.” A church can’t only focus on the spiritual growth and prayer needs of the students, but must come along side the Youth Worker in those areas as well. A Youth Worker’s spiritual health is vital to having a healthy youth ministry in your church.

What this looks like:

We will give space for retreat and reflection

Every time a youth worker stops to pray, to spend time reflecting, to seek God, they are doing something that not only impacts their own life, but the lives of the young people in your church too. The truth is that good youth workers are mentors and examples, not just organizers of things like crazy games. And that means that taking time to seek God about the vision and direction of their ministries isn’t incidental to their work. It’s indispensable.

What this looks like:

We will provide ongoing training and development

Alongside their spiritual growth, churches need to think about ongoing training and development for their worker. Whatever qualifications they arrive with, the church has a responsibility to continue to invest in them and develop their skills, just like in any profession. Learning the skills of youth work is an ongoing process and it’s important to continually invest in professional development.

What this looks like:

We will give at least one full day of rest per week

It’s important for churches to actively encourage youth workers to develop a healthy work/life balance and make sure the youth worker knows they are expected to take regular time off. Churches will also need to think about how they can make sure that the rest of the church recognizes this. Although there’s always a huge amount to do as a youth worker, he or she should have at least one day away from their role each week and at least two weeks per year to do something different. Taking regular time off will help ensure the youth worker stay fresh and energized in their role, and that’s something every church should want to see!

What this looks like:

We will share responsibility

Of course, the youth worker has a specific and important role. They will probably be leading and developing the youth work and spending a lot of time with the young people. But they shouldn’t feel that the church has simply handed the task over to them and left them to get on with it. Everyone in a church should be concerned about children and young people and should find a way to contribute to supporting them and helping them grow in faith.

What this looks like:

We will strive to be an excellent employer

In exactly the same way that you expect the youth worker to provide a program that supports, encourages, and at times challenges, the young people, he or she should expect you to provide them with the support and encouragement, and occasional challenges, that they need to fulfill their duties. Because you want the best for your young people, you expect the youth worker to be the best. But that means you also need to be the best.

What this looks like:

We will celebrate and appreciate

Being appreciated makes a huge difference, especially when the job is as demanding as youth work. That means that churches should think seriously about how they value their youth worker. Sometimes it’s easy to assume that people know this when, in many cases, it needs to be more explicit. Churches should create a habit of acknowledging what is achieved in the church’s youth work and the value of the youth worker themselves.

What this looks like: