I Never Wanted To Do Youth Ministry

“I’m not cut out for Youth Ministry. It’s not my calling.”

“Youth requires way too much energy. And teenagers are so needy.”

“I’m barely out of Youth for myself.”

“I feel so awkward around teenagers. The conversation always bombs.”

“I don’t even know what’s ‘cool’ anymore so I definitely won’t relate to teenagers.”

Those statements above are all mine. Can you relate to them?

Honestly, I never wanted to do Youth Ministry. When I was thinking about career options after school, ministry didn’t even cross my mind. I studied Architecture, Ballet, and Chemistry, and I had plans to be a teacher at some point, too. When I finally got connected in church I found the Creative Ministry, and if you’d asked me what I wanted to do with my life when I was 21 that would have been it.

But I also never wanted to do Youth Ministry because I couldn’t see how my passions and skill set would work with it. I thought it’d be a lot of hard work that I wouldn’t enjoy. I didn’t know the first thing about Youth Ministry and I definitely wasn’t qualified for it!

And I also never considered it as an option when it came to serving at Church. I’d put my name down for pretty much everything else except Worship Team.. (because you actually need some sort of talent for that, lol) but I actually never considered Youth as somewhere that I could serve. Everytime I would pass it by.

Yet here I am- volunteering in Youth Ministry with my husband, loving it, and even writing a blog about it! How on earth did I get here?!

It began with honouring my husband.

My husband had always said he’d love to get involved with Youth Ministry sometime. So when he said “let’s do this” I said “yes!” even though I wasn’t totally sold on it! But as we stepped out together I found I actually enjoyed doing Youth Ministry with my husband. And thatkept growing and now it’s something I love!

I believe there’s something powerful about a wife honouring her husband’s calling and backing him 100%. And besides, I can’t expect him to fully back me if I’m not willing to do the same for him first. We wanted to serve in ministry together, and this was how we could.

It also began with honouring God.

By this I mean honouring who God has created you to be, and honouring the gifts he’s given you. Be you. Don’t try to fit the mold of what you think a Youth Pastor should be- be YOU. Steward those gifts of yours (1 Peter 4:10) and pursue them (1 Corinthians 14:1).

For example, I have a gift of creativity and a gift of teaching. If I had just taken a background role in Youth Ministry with the excuse ‘it’s not my thing’, I’d have totally been dishonouring the fact that God gave me gifts that can be used in Youth Ministry. Instead I have embraced these gifts in the context of Youth Ministry, and I am seeing them grow. Not just in me- I am seeing them grow in our students as well.

You’ve got to know that what you do is bigger than you.

Let me say it again- you’ve got to know that what you do is bigger than you. We are working together to build the Kingdom of God, not our own. What you do, and what I do, is bigger than just us. It’s bigger than the group of teenagers sitting in front of you. It’s bigger than your church, it’s bigger than your community. What you do has the potential to impact an entire generation, to change the way they think and speak and live. It has the power to see your community, your little town, your busy city, your vast nation, won for Christ.

You can’t keep saying ‘it’s not my thing’ when God is telling you to jump right in. Start by honouring your spouse, and honouring God and the gifts he’s given you. Know that by doing that you are sowing into something bigger than yourself.

Let’s talk:

  • Tell me, how did you end up in Youth Ministry? Is your story similar to mine?
  • Did you have a similar experience that led you into a different ministry?

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  • I never thought I would end up doing youth ministry either! When in youth, it was the norm for our youth after graduating to become a youth leader. I didn’t want to do it just because that was the norm. Plus I was becoming a primary school teacher. I wanted to work with kids, not teenagers. But a few years out of school, I heard the Holy Spirit’s prompting to get involved. I still didn’t think it was my thing, but I trusted God and got involved anyway. Five years later now and I love it so much. I’m so thankful I get to serve God in youth ministry.

  • I had to laugh at some of your excuses. I could relate to quite a few. I also did youth ministry for a while but now my ministry is helping parents with teens in crisis. God leads us where we are needed even when we sometimes kick and scream along the way. It is not till later do we truly understand that path He put us on and then gives us the wisdom to continue on that road. It also opened doors for me to be a co-writer on a site that has over three quarters of a million people (including teens) that I was able to minister to. Many of those teens were from countries in which they could not always respond or like a post because of the persecution and punishment on their lives for even visiting the site. That open door allowed me to minister to many for a whole year. When God leads us into something, it always leads to another open door. Blessings!

    • Haha, yes it’s funny how God works things sometimes huh! That’s so cool how you got to see God’s faithfulness in opening those doors for you.

  • HAHA this is so me!! I actually said “I will never do student ministry.” Then I became a camp counselor and it ruined me for anything else as I saw high school girls questioning and really wanting to know how they could follow God.

    • Haha, so many times I’ve said “I will never…” and next thing I know that’s right what God’s got me doing. Keep up your fab work Katie! x

  • Thank you for sharing. God has placed on my heart young adults. My plan (lol) was to create a platform for women in transition, middle age. As I created the platform, God continued to place young adults on my heart. I am in a season of waiting and prayer. I am not sure where He is leading me but I continue to pray. Thank you for sharing your heart. I look forward to reading more of your story.

    • Thanks Robin! Ahh yes, we make our plans but it’s God who directs our steps – so much truth in that proverb! Young adults will be so blessed by you 🙂

  • Yes Im a 47 year old grandmother who wanted my son to take on the role of Youth worker at our church But God kept on tugging at my heart, in my dreams, through his word and now Im 3 months in. I felt so unequipped, Im tired but love the Lord and will obey. I thought I was going to pursue my singing career or even start a womens ministry but no this is where I am now. There have been many challenges but the Lord shows me glimpses of what he is doing in our youths lives and I am so overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing that blog.
    Love Charlotte who is taking a step of faith each day and trusting in my Lord. God Bless.

    • Wow, go Charlotte! I’m so encouraged by your wee testimony here and can totally relate! Praying thatyou are continually blessed as you keep following God’s leading. Bless you