The Most Meaningful Job

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!

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3 Responses to The Most Meaningful Job

  1. Wow! That’s really neat to see that Forbes’ survey (without pay) found StuMin tied for first!

    I just got back from Youth Pastor Summit (put on by SLU), and remembering why we do what we do can really light a fire for those dismal days.


  2. Dale Kaufman says:

    After 35 years of ministry, most of it with teenagers, I couldn’t agree more! Leading young people to Jesus, watching them grow in the Lord, crying with them in their struggles, staying up late at a camp and listening to them pour out their hearts, watching them worship God fiercely, and feeling your heart soar with pride at every spiritual victory–no matter how small–well, it just doesn’t get any better than that! There’s a line from a song by a 90s Christian band called Crystavox that says, “there’s nothin like seeing kids come to know the Lord. There’s power and privilege when we’re holding up the sword.” That says it all! I’m proud to still be in the trenches with kids after all these years, and I pray I’ve got a lot more years left to do the most meaningful calling ever!!

  3. Lisa says:

    I’m not surprised! (Well, also not about the pay part) Youth Ministry is the kind of calling that you can always expect the unexpected and find meaning for your youth and yourself.
    These years for our youth go by quickly but important memories are made that last a lifetime!
    God is Good! Lisa

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