Top 5 Thursday: The Blessings And Challenges Of My Youth Ministry Background

I grew up in a healthy, thriving Youth Ministry. 

I joined the team at my home church first as an intern during college and, shortly after graduating, as a full-time staff member on the Junior High team. 

 (That's me--second from the left.)

(There I am, in the purple shirt... with black hair.)

About 6 years later, I was hired by another local church where I served in the High School Ministry before joining the Worship Department. 

Even in my years as a Worship Leader, I led a High School small group.

You would think all this experience would be nothing but good news in my new marriage to my Youth Pastor Husband, but there are definitely a few thorns among those roses...

Here are 5 Blessings and Challenges of my Youth Ministry background:

::: Blessings :::
1. I have a heart for teenagers.

2. I understand the desire to put in the extra hours, to answer phone calls during "off hours", to go to football games and dance recitals and five graduation parties in a single Saturday... there's always more to do... I get it.

3. I have ideas... and like to brainstorm events and series and volunteer care.

4. I speak 'ministry'. Hype, care, you name it. This comes in handy with parents, leaders, students, and my husband.

5. I've had the advantage of watching many, many marriages in the church... most of them really close-up and over long stretches of years. I've learned a lot as I’ve seen them balancing Youth Ministry schedules, budgets, and parenting.

::: Challenges :::
1. Since I like teenagers, it's easy for me to jump in and serve in Student Ministries. But in the last few years, I've found other ministries within the Church I've loved. Finding my place in our new church--exploring new ministries and serve opportunities--has been tricky because it's fun, safe, and comfortable to serve alongside my husband.

2. There are two of us who could spend an entire date night talking about students, leader care, and upcoming events.

3. I have ideas and a ton of opinions... not to mention pretty high expectations. You can imagine what this can do to my poor husband!

4. I know what it is to be on staff at a church (show up early, stay late, model enthusiasm and support to the congregation)... but I also know the joys of simply being an attendee. (If I'm honest, there are days I really miss having the option to sleep in and stream the message later in the week.)

5. From what I remember, a majority of those Youth Ministry marriages started around the same time, so they were figuring out this newlyweds-in-ministry life together. Nobody had kids yet, nobody had any money, everyone was really into the "Must See TV" lineup on NBC. I can't help but feel a little envious of the world they lived in: a lot of friends in the same life stage in the same church. 

1 comment

  1. I'm so glad we always took so many photos! Love this...! Interesting thoughts too!