Forbes has just reported on the results of an annual survey of “most meaningful jobs that pay well.” (I can just hear you thinking right about now, “Umm, Ken? We’re youth ministers. What about the phrase ‘that pay well’ doesn’t fit?”) BUT, when they took the “pay well” caveat out of the equation, the results were the most meaningful jobs out there regardless of pay.
Guess what? Our job is tied for FIRST!
Yep! Along with being an Orthopedic Surgeon or a Police Chief, being a youth minister is the most meaningful job in the country! (Yes, it’s the lowest paying job of the three. Go figure.)
And, you know it’s true. Youth ministry is indeed a meaningful job. When I was first considering being a youth minister (back when Noah was thinking of building his yacht), my pastor – who was recruiting me to be the youth pastor at the church – told me, “Ken, youth ministry is a high calling – and a lousy career. Make sure you’re called by God to work with teenagers before you make this decision.”
I don’t have to tell you why youth ministry is meaningful. We get to have a significant influence on the trajectory of young lives – an impact that lasts a lifetime. We get to introduce people to Jesus at a time in their lives when they are most open, and most capable, of making a faith-based decision to follow Him. We get to have a blast taking our young friends on mission trips, camps, concerts, retreats, and outrageous events.
What a privilege we have to spend our energies doing something meaningful and with eternal value!