A little while back, Josh Griffin had a post listing 10 questions to ask before taking a youth ministry position. You can see his list for himself here.
While I agree with his list, I think I would add one more, very important question:
"Can you please share some of the unwritten expectations I would be expected to fulfill?"
Most churches have a few written expectations that they will measure your success by, but EVERY church has just as many, if not more, unwritten expectations that you are being measured by as well. The failure to meet unwritten expectations is just as dangerous to your job security as the failure to meet written ones....the scary part is that most youth workers have no clue what those unwritten expectations actually are. And they vary from church to church. Some examples:
- The youth pastor always makes the hospital visits to students and would never ask a volunteer to do that in his place.
- A good youth ministry is one that has something for students at least 3 times a week.
- Pastors kids should be given special privileges.
- If you don't teach verse by verse, the lessons aren't deep enough.
- The youth pastor should be in the office as much as the executive pastor is.
My hunch is that few, if any, of these would be discussed in a formal interview. However, these are classic examples of the type of unwritten expectations that every church has of it's youth pastor.