Virtues of a Successful Youth Pastor #9 – Be Teachable

Last week, I talked about the importance of being a Life-Long Learner , so some may see the title for this week and think its going to be the same basic idea. But what I have actually discovered is that most of the virtues I have discussed are much more attitudes than they are traits, and thats true with this week and last week. If I could have worded my point better last week, I would have said that anyone can read books and call themselves a learner, but you have to have the attitude of being a lifelong learner to be successful at it.

Same with today, anyone can claim to be teachable, but you have to have the attitude of being teachable for it to count. When your Sr. Pastor comes to talk to you about a concern, do you instantly get defensive?

A successful youth pastor has the attitude of being teachable, to be able to stay calm when being confronted to get the perspective of those with the issue. As I said last week, You don’t know anything, I don’t know anything, so listen. Not because your Sr. Pastor is the almighty purveyor of knowledge , but because  someone with a teachable attitude is willing to be taught what went wrong. Listen to their point of view and learn from it.

Having a Teachable attitude doesnt always involve confrontation, either. Sometimes we need to learn from our mistakes, and a Youth Pastor with the ability to be teachable is a Youth Pastor who is willing to make mistakes, who is willing to fail. I remember the sentence that really got my interest piqued at a Church I interviewed for was when the Sr. Pastor said “it’s ok to fail at this church.” He wasn’t saying “We encourage failure,” but rather that failure is ok, we learn from our mistakes, and we celebrate what we take out of those experiences.

There’s one last thing that can happen with a Teachable Youth Pastor that creates success, and thats the idea of approaching students with the idea that you can learn from them. The best relationships are those with mutual respect, so if you expect to be teaching anything to those students you love on each week, you better expect to be learning from them.



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