I’m Jared. A Youth Pastor turned entrepreneur, who was lucky enough to get called back into youth ministry.
I sold 80% of everything I owned and moved my family, wife, Son, Daughter (And one more on the way) from California to Virginia in hopes that God wasn’t done with me.
I grew up in church, and got started in Media Ministry. From there I became a part time youth assistant, to Jr. High leader, to interim youth pastor, and finally Youth pastor.
This was all at my home church and was either valenteer, or part time.
Then I was laid off from the school system in 2008 after a two million dollar budget cut to our county.
I packed my bags and headed for greener pasture.
I moved my wife and daughter a few hours north to Sacramento. We we lived in a extra bedroom for 10 months while I tried to find a job.
One day I went into our District office to borrow a tripod for a short film I was working on. The Youth Director asked me if I was interested in continuing youth ministry.
One thing led to another and we ended up in a training program for youth pastors, and were placed in our first ministry position outside of our home church.
fast forward a few years and few positions later, and we found ourself resigning from a church after just under a year of service due to extreme conflicts with the senior pastor.
I thought I had learned pretty much all I could in youth ministry and was ready to lead my own church, where I got to call the shots.
Well, a year and dozen of rejected applications later I took a job at a local car lot to pay the bills. To say I was discouraged would have been an understatement.
I still had a little dream left and eventually moved back to my home town to try again. This time as a church planter.
That didn’t go as planned and I ended up back at a car lot.
Finally I decided i was done with ministry and started a business. Then after two years I started having dreams about being back in full time youth ministry. I just passed them off as nostalgia, but after a year of them getting more and more specifically I decided it was time to take action.
A few months later I had an offer and was selling and packing my belongings for a cross country move.
SO WHY THE YOUTH FACTOR BLOG?
Well, during my first run as a youth pastor I bumped into just about every pitfall I could find. When It became clear the ministry door was closed, I made a list of every weakness or just lack of strength that held me back.
I then decided to spend however long it would take for me to get back into ministry working on that list.
In pursuit of becoming better equipped for ministry I worked at two car lots, did door to door sales, started a few businesses, (Some didn’t quite take off) became a freelancer, worked for a start up, (That was cool) and spent a ton of time learning how to better win friends and influence people.
After all this, specifically 2 years as an online entrepreneur doing online marketing and copywriting, I feel I have a thing or two to offer fellow youth pastors who are struggling to connect with students in a social media word.
The entire online world changes pretty drastically every 18-24 months, so if you wait to hear about the next thing, then try to figure it out, chances are your students have already moved on.
I blog about what is working TODAY, and how to take advantage of it without having to spend the hours of trial and error.
LET’S FIGURE OUT WHAT WORKS + KEEP MOTIVATED TO DO OUR BEST!
3 Reasons to Subscribe to the Youth Factor Email List:
- Free Stuff! You’ll get instant access to free resources, webinars, and other tools to help you reach your community, and connect with your core students more effectively, and efficiently.
- Content tailored to you. Over time, I’ll get to learn more about you and deliver content that actually matters.
- No hype. Just real content that’s meant to make a difference.
And finally, please read this carefully:
I am not a youth expert. I don’t claim to be at the level of Doug Fields, or any other youth ministry guru. I am just a guy who is really good at figuring out the best ways to reach and connect with people. My goal is to help as many youth pastors reach as many students as possible.
Jared N. Elrod