That’s right, I said it. There are actually tons of perks those of us fortunate enough to work primarily with young teens enjoy that the rest of the youth ministry nation doesn’t. For example:
– Parents are somewhat interested in what we are teaching on Sunday, where we are going to camp, and what movie we are showing at the lock-in. Yep, that’s actually a perk.
– Most of the stuff you teach is brand new to them! For the rest of their lives when they hear old, worn out, illustrations and stories they’ll think to themselves, “Hey, this dude stole my junior high pastor’s story!”
– Their enthusiasm and energy. I know it drives you crazy sometimes (errrr, most of the time), but the fact that junior highers are almost always “all in” is a wonderful thing.
– They almost always look back at their time in the junior high ministry favorably. For some reason, the further removed from the ministry they get…the better the junior high ministry was!
– You get to cherry pick high school and college age volunteers who already understand your ministry and want to follow your leadership because they spent two or three years in it themselves.
– Junior highers say really funny/awkward stuff:
– “Rachel, our van stopped on the way to the girls trip to feed a Hobo.”
– “Kurt, your nose is big! But that’s cool ‘cuz there’s lots of great smells out there.”
– You are viewed as a Martyr in your church. Sure, many of the adults in your congregation don’t understand why you do what you do, or what you actually do…but they LOVE that you are the one doing it, not them!
– You get paid piles of cash! Ummm….scratch that one.
Add your favorite “perk” of working with junior highers in the comments!