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KurtJohnston

Kurt Johnston has been a youth pastor since 1988 and currently leads the student ministries team at Saddleback Church in Southern California. Widely regarded as one of the most trusted voices in youth ministry, Kurt loves to encourage other youth workers and has written and created over 50 books and resources with that goal in mind. In his free time, Kurt enjoys surfing and riding dirt bikes in the desert with his wife and two children.

I’ve been thinking a lot (maybe too much) lately about longevity in youth ministry; especially longevity in the same church/organization. And while my conclusions aren’t scientific and can certainly be argued against (in fact, please do!), I’ve identified what I’d like to call “ministerial intelligence” as the common denominator.  The higher a man or woman’s ministerial intelligence, the more likely he/she is to find success and fulfillment in a ministry setting for an extended period of time.

Ministerial Intelligence involves three key ministry arenas:

1)     THE PLACE: The ability to understand and navigate the nuances of your particular organization.

2)     THE PRACTICES: Proficiency at the various “practices” of youth ministry; the stuff we do.

3)     THE PEOPLE: The ability to develop people, win the trust of people etc.

Isn’t there more to successful youth ministry that ministerial intelligence? Yes, youth ministry is a complex calling and it’s not easily confined to tidy little categories. However, I think the three arenas that make up ministerial intelligence are vital. Without them it is highly unlikely you will stay in one setting for more than a few years.

So over the next three weeks, I’ll be sharing my thoughts about each of these areas and insights into how you can increase your ministerial intelligence, which will increase both your value to the ministry you serve and your sense of fulfillment along the way.

It’s going to be a little bit of a work in progress…me jotting down my thoughts in real time because this whole concept is brand new to me. I’d love your comments, additions and push-backs!   In fact, you can start right now: What do you think about the concept of “ministerial intelligence”?

- Kurt

6 COMMENTS

  • Ray Hausler says:

    These things are so important. I think what makes them keys to ministry intelligence is the understanding that it is not about the individual youth worker. Ministerial intelligence involves the understanding and humility to know who you are working for, what work needs to be done, and who needs to do the work. Ministers lacking in ministerial intelligence make it about themselves and their agenda.

    • Kurt J. says:

      Ray, I think you hit on something very big! The ability to recognize that ministry is “about me” is a major piece of ministerial intelligence. Good input.

  • Dave Magee says:

    Thanks for your comments. I am about 39 days shy of being at the same church for 26 years and no one has ever said I had intelligence. Thanks

  • Taun Allman says:

    I have to agree cause I have been where I am for 18 years.

  • Kurt J. says:

    WOW, Dave…that is an amazing run. You may not be intelligent, but you are doing something right! :)

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