Help Wanted! Or, how do I know if I’m called to youth ministry?
Calling is a strange concept, and men and women far wiser than I have tried to tackle to subject. And the methods we see in scripture used to call men and women to Kingdom action often make our efforts to figure it out even tougher! For me there was no burning bush. I didn’t lay a fleece out and make a deal with God concerning moisture. I didn’t get knocked on the ground (or more specifically off my feet) by a blinding light.
So those amazing moments in history haven’t helped me discern my calling into youth ministry. Yet here I am…here you are…serving the teenagers the best way we know how. And when frustrations, failure and fatigue set in, we often ask, “How do I know if I’m really called into youth ministry?”
Jesus, as he often does for me, makes the confusing conversation about “calling” much clearer when he says,
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Luke 10:2)
It’s as if Jesus is saying, “Hey guys, there is a lot of work to be done, and our heavenly Father has put out a ‘Help Wanted’ sign.Who’s in? And who can you bring along?”
I’m a youth pastor, not a theologian. There’s a reason I’ve never been asked to help with a Bible translation project. But I think the idea of a “Help Wanted” sign is in-bounds enough to not be complete heresy!
You’re probably like me. Your youth ministry journey most likely didn’t begin with an obvious sign from God.
My hunch is, though, that you saw the “Help Wanted” sign…and you knew you could help. Add to that a fondness for teenagers, a spiritual gift or two and a servant’s heart and you were off and running.
Some reading this will want a checklist; a way to quantify a calling to work with teenagers. Okay, here you go:
- Are you a follower of Jesus?
- Do you like teenagers?
- Do you have any sort of gift or talent…any at all?
- Do you see that “Help Wanted” sign?
- Wanna help?
- Congratulations, you are called to youth ministry!
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Who’s in? Who can you bring along?