Youth ministry is a fun job. When I was in high school, I started thinking about youth ministry as a job because of it. The student ministry had an incredible impact on my life, and I could potentially get paid to go on all kinds of fun trips. Why wouldn't I want to do this? My initial thinking was accurate; doing youth ministry, I do get all kinds of incredible opportunities for fun experiences and actually get paid for it. But anybody who is in youth ministry will tell you, it's fun but doing it for a career requires more than just liking the job.
Around that time in high school all my friends started volunteering in the middle school ministry at my church and I wasn't invited. Like most high school students, not being included with my friends was very upsetting. When I was in high school, there was no chance that any of the leaders would've looked at me at thought, "This kid is going to do youth ministry." It really is not surprising I was not asked to serve because no one would have ever thought that I would have any interest of ability to spend time talking to middle school kids. For some reason I thought I should do youth ministry so I got the courage to ask if I could also serve in the middle school ministry and everything changed.
I tried it out.
With any job, getting experience is key. For me, being in a healthy student ministry was the best experience I could get. As I served on a team that functioned well together and built relationships with the leaders that became great friends, I grew significantly as a leader. I loved youth ministry and did everything I could do be around it, and I learned a lot because of it.
I fell in love with the kids.
Over the course of volunteering in middle school there was a significant shift that happened. Initially youth ministry was something that could possibly be a fun job, but after having the chance to attend a middle school winter retreat I felt like I loved the students. I hadn't felt that before, and it changed the way I saw student ministry. I couldn't wait to spend time with them and get to know them. Youth ministry is a very fun job, but if it's something you want to do for life it has to be more than fun, you have to love the people you serve and the people you serve with.
How'd you get into youth ministry?
Photo Credit: Majorie