Letâ€™s face it. Â If youâ€™re in ministry you either have or will drive the bus. Here are 6 ways getting a job as a substitute school bus driver will just enhance your ministry potential.
1. Youâ€™ll connect with students by driving them to and from school.
Itâ€™s time you got out the office and used your time more wisely! Â By working as a bus driver, Â youâ€™ll spend way more time connecting with students. Â Youâ€™ll hear their conversation! Â Youâ€™ll see them interact! Â And youâ€™ll learn about their world. Â Whatâ€™s the latest pop culture reference? Â What are they excited or concerned about? Â What major events happened during the day? Â Thereâ€™s not enough time to learn about this stuff on Sunday morning or Wednesday night. Â And reading about it only takes your time away from students. Â More interaction is what you need. Â Bus driving is the key.
2. Youâ€™ll connect with the school officials by working for the district.
Connecting with school officials can be a daunting challenge. Â You can always connect with students outside school hours but chances are youâ€™ll never meet a school official outside of school. Â By becoming a bus driver youâ€™ll learn more about the ins and outs of your schools employees and programs than was ever thought possible as the outsider. Â Youâ€™ll interact with staff. Â Youâ€™ll get to know them personally. Â Youâ€™ll become intimately acquainted with the school calendar. Â Whenâ€™s the next dance or week of testing? Â This is good stuff to know and all too easy to miss.
3.Â Youâ€™ll receive valuable training and certification through your employer.
As a youth pastor we require training and certifications that are sometimes hard to come by. Â Some are just easy to overlook. Â When was the last time, for instance, you were trained in CPR and first aid? Â Others are expensive. Â Â My state, for instance, has made it difficult to obtain a bus drivers license. Â Gone are the days when you could walk into the DMV, read a book and take an exam. Â It now requires training by state certified instructors. Â Courses run around 2,000 dollars. Â There is another option though. Â School bus barns have these instructors by which they train their employees. By becoming a school bus driver you can earn a valuable commercial drivers license and stay on top of CPR and first aid certification.
4. Youâ€™ll leave your best time available for students by working bus hours.
Secondary jobs can be a pain when youâ€™re in youth ministry. Â They tie you down and take up valuable hours when students are free from school. Â But thatâ€™s what so cool about working as a substitute school bus driver. Â You work both a little before and little after school. Â The heart of the day is free to plan your next staff meeting, event or message. Â Youâ€™re also free to plan events when students are available. Â Donâ€™t forget youâ€™re off when students are off â€“ weekends, holidays, summer vacations. Â Finally as a substitute youâ€™re free to choose those days that work best for you. Â If an emergency arises, you just tell them you wonâ€™t be available.
5. Youâ€™ll supplement your small ministry salary by a second part-time job.
We do what we do because we love it, not because of the money. Â But money is still important. Â Bills are bills and sometimes youth ministry salaries just donâ€™t cut it. Â School bus driving is a great way to supplement your income without taking away from what you Â love doing best. Â The money could also help you to run a little farther.
6. Youâ€™ll raise needed youth funds through a second job.
And of course if money is not an issue for you or your church doesnâ€™t want you moon lighting on a second job, the wages you earn could always make a much needed contribution to the youth ministry budget. Â Can I hear an â€œAmen!â€
Matthew Miller is a youth pastor who drives bus and blogs at Logos Made Flesh. Be sure to check out his blog for youth ministry insights as well!