What I Learned at My First Youth Pastor’s Conference


Sitting in the Hard Rock concert hall in Orlando, I contemplated the irony that my first youth pastor’s conference comes about eight months after our six year tenor as youth pastor and wife had officially ended. I further considered the hilarity that the “cool” students in youth groups  initially intimidate me nearly as much as the youth workers with swag!

After settling into my cushioned seat, along with my surroundings,  the people watching began. As workers and volunteers filed into the auditorium it didn’t take long for mommies and daddies carrying babies in infant backpacks to catch my attention.  I was instantly reminded:

The sacrifices and juggling youth pastors and their wives endure to meet the needs of students is one of the most unseen tasks of the ministry.

For moms partnering alongside their pastor husbands, babies bring love and logistical issues. The will, passions, and heart of the mother are oftentimes torn between the desire to be the visual, involved helpmate of her pastor husband. While loving my job and joy as a mother, I often struggled with the desire to experience all of the riches of youth ministry: trips, conferences, discipleship, after church meals and fellowships. However, the choices of: a. bring the kids and chase after them… and the youth, or b. find a sitter to pay while I enjoy ministry, were both less than ideal.

If you are in the midst of ministering to teens or are parents of teens, would you agree that at times this portion of ministry seems like the leach and daughters in Proverbs 30; always crying for more? As a youth pastor’s wife, I often felt this way. (I can say that now, although it is with great fear and trepidation even after running in a different lane of ministry for 8 months!) Youth ministry is demanding and the pace strenuous.

Please understand, I loved pouring our lives into the next generation. Our aim was to minister so that fully devoted disciples would be made to reach the nations and the generations with the gospel for the glory of Jesus Christ. However, there was an ongoing struggle, a wrestle if you will, with my flesh, our families needs, and the demands and desires to minister as God would have both of us do.

At this conference I learned very valuable ministry methods, was reminded of the global needs of God’s created world, and reviewed with speakers the true critical issues of youth ministry. But, perhaps the most valuable challenge for me specifically was the reminder to pray for youth pastor’s and specifically their wives.

Join me today in praying for the youth pastor’s wife in your church. I hope the bullet points below would be a good launch pad for your prayers.

  • Pray for God’s peace for the current pace they are running.
  • Pray for endurance and perserverance under stresses.
  • Pray that they will see the value in all tasks both the seen (ministering to and with teens and adult workers) and the unseen (ministering to their husband within the home).
  • Pray for peer friendships and women to pour into them.
  • Pray for peace when she cannot go with him on trips.
  • Pray for God to guard and guide their marriage relationship.
  • Pray for their children and the faith and Christian worldview to come to full fruition in their lives.



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