How to Boil a Youth Pastor

March 22, 2016

I have no idea how this would even come up in a conversation but I remember years ago someone explaining to me how to boil a frog alive. I had no desire to do so but I was still interested in how it was done.

You would think it is simple. Boil water and then toss the frog in. Wrong. The drastic temperature change will make it jump out.  Instead trick the frog by putting it in a pot of lukewarm water and slowly turning up the heat. By the time the frog can tell, it is helpless to do anything about it.

Disturbing right? But guess what, that is exactly what happens to youth workers as well! You want to know how to boil a youth worker? Here is how you do it..

1. Get comfortable

This is something we have all been guilty of in our ministries. We get comfortable with what we are doing, how we are doing it, and where we are. We look around and think, “we are doing okay, everything is fine” and we get comfortable.

Don’t get comfortable! Never settle for where you are. There are always areas to be better and things that can be improved upon. I am NOT saying to disregard the wins and not be content. Of course recognize the wins and give God glory for all He has done. But never get to a place where you feel like you have arrived and are no longer striving for the next step.

Always look to the future. How can you improve? How can you reach more? How can you become a better speaker, leader, pastor? Don’t allow yourself to get comfortable where you are. That is exactly what the frog did before it boiled.

2. Don’t check yourself

Once you are comfortable you don’t feel the need to check yourself. That is where trouble comes. Without evaluation you will never reach your destination.

We need to check ourselves, our ministries, leaders, programs, messages, and anything else we do. Evaluation is an awesome and very necessary thing. How will we know if we are getting burned or we are in a dangerous environment if we do not evaluate where we are? It did not work out well for the frog.

Ask your leaders to evaluate the ministry, ask your students for feedback, ask a fellow youth worker or coach to get a second opinion. Build in times to evaluate your ministry and check where you are and if you are on track. If this is not a priority you may end up getting boiled.
3. Don’t do anything different

So many people are afraid of change! I can raise my hand on this one. That is me. I remember very vividly as a child freaking out when my mom came home with a drastic hair cut because I did not like the change! It’s not that I didn’t like her hair, but I didn’t like the change.

We get the same way with our ministries, we get so stuck in our ways and do not want to change anything. Even when things aren’t working and we are not reaching students, too often we just continue doing the same things over and over. But we NEED to change.

The problem goes back to us getting comfortable. Just like the frog who ends up dead because it does not want to change what it is doing and it is comfortable where it is, our ministries are in danger of the same thing if we do not embrace change.

Change to be better! Change to reach students. Do not be afraid to try something new.


This is the simple recipe for boiling a youth pastor. Maybe you have met a youth worker who is being boiled, or you have been, or are that youth worker. Don’t get comfortable, constantly evaluate your ministry, and don’t be afraid to try something new. DON’T GET BOILED!


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