Ask The Source

Can a pastor date one of his leaders?

Is it ok for single youth pastors to date one of their single leaders?

Dusty, Hobbs, NM



Thanks for the question.

But first – your name is Dusty. I've known guy Dustys and girl Dustys. (is a plural Dusty “Dusties,” “Dustys,” or “Dusti'”) I don't know which you are – so I'll be a typical male and assume you're a male! (besides, you're from New Mexico! My guess is you're a cowboy hat wearing, cow ropin' Dusty!)

As for your question. Good question. That's not an easy answer- and there probably is no right or wrong answer. I think you just have to look at the results and evaluate them. (pros/cons).


  • She could be the one!
  • Love is a cool thing!
  • As Paul said, it's better to get married then to burn with lust. And she could be your future wife. -You could set a positive example of “how to date”

  • Sometimes relationships become a distraction from ministry- some neglect their ministry during courtship (because, let's face it, wooing takes time and effort!) -If you break up, it most likely will result in you losing her as a volunteer which could turn ugly if kids take sides. (I've seen it happen- ugly!)
  • You could set a negative example of “how not to date”

I remember when two of my volunteers fell in love and started dating each other. They never did the typical public display of affection, etc. They never even told the kids. For a year- the kids didn't know- and the two staff really concentrated on ministry. In their private life- they dated. I eventually married them.

I think it would have been a shame for them to not have been able to get together because of some dumb rule. After all, the relationship wasn't wrong. Furthermore, they put God's ministry first.

I've seen relationships become distracting to ministry. So I guess my answer would be: I have no problem with the relationship, unless it's at the expense of the ministry.

Hope that helps.

God Bless,

The Source for Youth Ministry


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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