Not A Real Pastor Youth Ministry Podcast


You, a Youth Pastor or Director, are asked to preach during Sunday morning service. This doesn't happen often, your Lead Pastor is probably on vacation. The day comes, you're prepared, and you deliver a successful message. A well meaning church member strides up to you with an outstretched hand, "You were wonderful this morning! When are you gonna be a Real Pastor?!"

So, when are  you gonna be a real pastor?

Ouch! Perhaps they use different words in your context, but the feeling stings all the same.

Don't get us wrong! These people mean well! All they really want to do is bring you encouragement and let you know they felt blessed. Yet, for many of us, we leave these conversations with one thing in mind...

"I thought I was a real Pastor?"

This is why we began the podcast. It's a rallying call to Youth Pastors, Youth Workers, and churches to begin to change the way they see Youth Ministry.

The youth group models of the past are long dead, and what is needed today are professionals who see their roles as Youth Ministers & Volunteers as a calling. We need people who learn, grow, and seek to become experts in their field. This is not a stepping stone to real ministry, this is real ministry.


The depth and complexity of youth ministry today wasn’t even conceived of back in the day
— Nate Parks, CEO Berea Ministries

Co-Hosts of When You Going To Be A Real Pastor





Pastor Zach, first and foremost, is committed to teaching students the relevancy, power, and freedom that is offered by an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. He is also slightly addicted to technology and, before coming to Church of Emmanuel, served as the Apple Network Technician at New Canaan Public Schools in Connecticut. Zach was born in NJ and lived near NYC for the past 8 years so he is supremely disappointed in what New Englanders call "pizza". Zach is a trained musician and vocalist and loves playing guitar, bass, and ukulele. He is married to Anna, and together they have have 3 girls, Josie, Emily, and Samantha, and one BOY on the way! 




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Ryan has been in youth ministry since 1998, and has been serving at Christ Chapel in Madison, CT as the Youth Pastor since September of 2000. Ryan is a trained musician and vocalist, and also serves Christ Chapel as the Worship Pastor. Ryan lives with his wife Sherry and their three boys, and loves being a part of a his church community. Ryan considers it a privilege to disciple teenagers and pass the faith on to the next generation. Ryan began working on the Podcast after Zach annoyed him about it for nearly 6 months. Ryan loves hanging out with his kids and eating anything his wife cooks.

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