Have you ever met a children’s or youth pastor and walked away thinking they were crazy? If for no other reason, you probably think we’re crazy, because we choose to work with children and teenagers. School teachers probably get the same kind of looks. I think the people whose sanity is questioned the most would have to be someone that chooses to be a junior high teacher or junior high youth pastor. When I was in college, I thought being a junior high youth pastor would be the best thing, and even other youth ministry majors thought I was nuts.
What draws me to children’s and youth ministry? Well, there are certain facts about me that I pay attention to. As long as these facts remain true about me, I feel like this is the right job for me. Someday, these will not be true of me, and then I will know it’s time for me to “grow up” and be a lead pastor. I’m hoping to hold onto my second childhood for another ten years plus, though, so don’t you go worrying about me leaving. I know that would just terrify every single one of you. So what are these facts? I will list them below in a well organized, bullet pointed list for your consumption.
- I like children and teenagers. Spending my entire weekend with a group of teenagers sledding, tubing, and playing in the snow is a good weekend for me.
- I do not agree that they are annoying. I probably find the person that says, “How can you work with kids/teenagers? They’re so annoying!,” to be much more annoying.
- I’m okay with them acting like children. They are children, after all. It’s when adults act like children that I get really upset. If I turn into the youth pastor that thinks yelling at a student in front of other students is the right way to handle business when they act like kids, I should probably move on.
- I feel like I’ve met with Jesus every Sunday, even if I never make it into big church. No offense to big church, but I usually feel as though I get a better glimpse of Him when I’m in children’s ministry. Ever seen a four year old get excited about saying their special words, an elementary student saying their Bible verse, or a 4th/5th grade student’s light bulb turn on when they really get a deeper truth about God? That’s church.
- I love my job. I want to do it well. I want to do it well so much that I went to see the Justin Beiber movie. I didn’t like it, but I went, and only someone truly committed to youth ministry would do that.
- God hasn’t said anything to me about it, and until He does, I’m not interested, and when He does, I’ll probably ask, “Are you sure?”
Children’s and youth ministry is the place for me. It could be the right place for you to serve at your church, unless of course, you’re grumpy. If you’re a grumpy gus, I’m not sure where to tell you to serve. See your lead pastor for other ideas.