On the Youth Specialties web site, Island Boy (Bill) posted the following thoughts on the "what sucks about youth ministry" topic. His posts are in normal font, mine are in bold.
It's not so much "what sucks" as what isn't what you thought that it would be.
Isn't that the truth. I never expected to be the one who has to write the call to worship and the invocation for the bulletin. I don't even like having a bulletin. To me they are simply something to read when you're bored during the sermons. I didn't think that I would have so many crazy things keeping me in the office all day long...
Do you think that you will be affirmed in your calling by the staff, youth and their parents?
Actually, being a people pleaser, I found it difficult to fathom the depth of disagreements people would have with me -- or I would have with people. But I guess I've been blessed by having many of those people actually tell me that I've done well.
Do you look forward to being able to work in a Christian setting, where differences in style and interpretaion pale in the face of a common calling?
Uggh. Christian politics... I'm not complaining about Christian politicians (that's another thing to think about before it goes here). I'm talking about what looks like extreme hatred between Christians, even of the same denomination. At the same time, however, I think if the Methodist Church decides to change much of its discipline, I'll leave...
Do you think that you will make a lasting impression on the first senior class that you work with?
Actually, I have. Nate Kelley, Alan deVries... Those are two fantastic success stories. Especially how far Nate came as a senior. I miss those two guys. I miss Alan's spiritual maturity and wisdom. I miss his heart for others. And I miss Nate's tough questions. I miss Nate's cynicism and trademark all black clothes. I miss the regular conversations with both of them.
Are you sure that your excitement about God will be easily communicated and that within 6 months you will have made a significant impact on your churchs youth program?
I was. I still wonder about this, even in my third year. I know that individuals have been impacted (youth and adults). But I don't know about the program...
Do you think that the money will take care of it-self?
Would you accept a job at a church, or within a denomination, without reading and understanding their articles of faith?
Absolutely not. And I'm excited anticipating Gary's successor here, to see what his views will be, to see if I can follow him excitedly, or to see if we will have to go somewhere else.
Would you accept a job at a church that didn't require you to state and defend your beliefs?
I don't think so. I was glad when I was asked the questions about my beliefs when the PPR met with me. I didn't quite like that they asked Tara so many questions (ask them now; see what she says!). But I knew that I had total freedom to answer as best as I could, because if God was calling me to a church, he was calling me to be totally honest...
Are you CALLED to youth ministry, or are you just a good guitar player, or athelete, or funny?
I can't imagine doing anything else. I'm a mediocre guitar player, a decent athlete, and I'm pretty darn funny (if you aren't laughing, you just didn't get it...) but I don't think that does anything but fuel the call. I love the kids. I get a charge having one ask me to be baptized. When I was told that I have made a difference, that absolutely rocked... but I still question the call. Moreso, I question my abilities. I feel like it's just going to be a matter of time until someone finds out that I don't know diddley about youth ministry, about ministry in general, before they find out I'm a faker.
Are you CALLED to youth ministry, or do you see it as a logical first step, and a way to work your way through seminary?
Heeeheeeheeeeheee. I worked at the poopie plant through seminary. HAHAHAHAHA I crack myself up. At this point I can't imagine what I would step into (hahahahah, I still crack myself up). Youth ministry isn't a stepping stone for me. That's for sure.
Did you know that a church board meeting can be as nasty as a hostile corporate take-over? That power politics are a reality in both settings?
Yup. Absolutely. But a cool thing is that most lay people don't know it. I'd love to keep it that way. I'd love for nobody to know who my enemies are.
If you remember, at all times, that we ALL desperately require God's Grace, that all are sinners, that all are Loved, and all have been covered by the Blood of Christ, that our reward is in heaven, and that you were CALLED to youth ministry, then, you just might make it!!
And, by the way, it's worth it!!!
Thanks, Bill, for the great reminder. I want to stay there, covered by the Blood, seeking for the Reward, following my call.