Some people get really creative with their job titles.

  • Director of Smiles
  • Ministry Ninja
  • Director of Amazement

These are hilarious and I’m sure they make having the title fun and energizing. However, for everyone outside the organization, it’s hard to know what you actually do. I think this is worth considering.

I’ve run into this dilema lately. I’m a NextGen Pastor, essentially I oversee all ministry to kids and students (or the Next Generation). This role is similar to a Family Pastor or Director of Family Ministry. However, there’s some room for confusion here. The term “Family Ministry” is so subjective.

About a decade ago, I remember seeing that many Children’s Pastors were getting the words “and Family” between “Children’s” and “Pastor.” Some people have the title Family Pastor and it essentially means Children’s and Family Pastor.

Let me explain why your title is confusing. You’re title implies that you oversee all things family ministry, but you don’t. You oversee all things family as it relates to kids in your children’s ministry. I’ve never once seen a Student Pastor tack on “Family Ministry” to their title. So it’s confusing. If you oversee ministry to family for kids, who owns ministry to families of Middle School and High School students. Even if your Student Pastor does, if he or she doesn’t have “Family Ministry” in his title like you do… its confusing. If a parent of a Middle School student needed some help, they might seek you out because your title indicates that you’re the best match for the issue at hand. However, once they contact you, you’ll likely forward their email to the student pastor.

My proposal. If you really want to have “family” in your title, make sure the student pastor has “family” in their title as well… or just leave your title Children’s Pastor. It seems that this provides the most clarity.

Why? Yes, I’m selfishly motivated. I’m realizing that there aren’t many people who do what I do. Right now my list is less than 40. However, I can hardly tell who is a NextGen Pastor verses the Children’s Pastors who loves family ministry because of the confusing titles. There’s probably nothing I can really do about this other than whine like I am right now… so here are my suggestions.

  • If you oversee it all.. kids through students, consider a job title like Family Pastor or NextGen Pastor
  • If you are a Children’s Pastor, consider the title of Children’s Pastor or Children’s and Family Pastor of Families of kids 12 and younger
  • If you’re a Children’s Pastor, make the student pastor wear the “Family Ministry” title as well so there is consistency

Is it wrong for me to desire clarity?