You are going to pour your heart into a youth work, to see it suffer because two eighth grade girls can’t get along over a boy.
There’s going to be considerable discussion over what to call you - youth worker, youth minister, minister to youth, associate minister or family minister - when you just want to be called Trae.
A church is going to want you to be a youth minister slash (/) - youth minister/song leader, youth minister/educational director, youth minister/involvement minister, youth minister/yard boy - these people don’t know what youth ministry really is.
You are going to stay up at ungodly hours playing games to connect with kids so you can get into their hearts only to be condemned by an elder who can’t understand why you don’t make it into the office by 6am, like he had too.
You’re going to wonder what that smell is.
You are going to take less than half the pay of the “pulpit minister” (a term you wonder what it means), to be told you have to wash the church van once a month...so the older people can use it.
You are going to miss many of the “big church” events because somebody has to “do something” with the kids.
You are going to teach Sunday’s, Wednesday’s, VBS and every other event possible.
You’re job is going to involve video games, music and hanging out with young people - cool...
Some preacher is going to think your job is video games, music and hanging out with young people - not cool.
You are going to be expected to be an expert on “youth culture” - whatever that is....
You are going to be asked to preach once a month because some folks think that as a paid minister you ought to have to earn your pay - those same folks are going to rip your sermon to shreds and complain to the elders that they wished you preached like the regular guy.
You are going to sacrifice many evenings away from your wife and own kids to take “their kids bowling, to a youth rally, on a retreat...
Somebody’s going to get hurt.
You’re going to wonder where the summer went.
Some young lady is going to accuse you of something inappropriate. You will learn to guard your reputation.
You’re going to wonder what that smell is..again
When the budget gets cut your’s will go before mission work, any other ministry, the sectaries or even the church janitors.
Someone in your youth group is going to die - the built up emotion is going to rip your heart out.
You are going to study hours to present a lesson in Bible class, only to have it sabotaged by (Multiple choice here) - 1. A girl who is so hot none of the boys hear a word you say, 2. A guy so cool none of the girls hear a word you say, 3. A cat fight, 4. an announcement the elders made, 5. Something that happened at school that day.
A jealous preacher is going to call you a danger to the church, when what he really means is he thinks you are more popular than he is and his ego or his wife can’t handle it.
Your wife is going to develop an ability to be frank - learn to laugh with her often.
You are going to be tested by mean and little people - pray for them.
They are going to tempt you again - talk to them.
You are going to learn that some of them are just little people who have no real interest in right - picture them with a big clown nose and big floppy shoes - you’ll learn then to just smile when you see them coming.
You are going to be temped to laugh at others - learn to laugh more at yourself...except that clown nosed person :)
You’re gong ti change the life of a child with your teaching on grace, forgiveness or commitment - a father is going to be mad at you because his son is more interested in Bible study than throwing a baseball - you’re going to feel like Christ - don’t forget what they did to Him.
You are going to be interrogated by a helicopter parent by more questions that a terrorist suspect - all to let their little baby girl go ice skating.
You are going to get tired of it and invite that parent to go along with you - you are going to regret that invitation.
A stink bomb is in your future.
You are going to be “allowed to live in the ‘old preachers house’”, accommodations none of the elders wife’s would stand for for their own family - and you better be thankful and never mention that the ceiling is sagging, only one element in the hot water heater is working, there’s a hole in the foundation that allows small animals to come and go at will, the electrical system looks like something that McGaver wired on a three day drunk, and the roof leaks. And, oh yeah, several people will have keys to your house and periodically and unexplictedly use them!
You’re going to make the mistake of telling the youth group to make themselves at home, and they will...every day!
You are going to be human.
You are going to be accused of being in the office too much, you are going to be accused of being in the office to little.
You’re going to resist having facebook only to learn that it is the best method to communicate with your young people. then you are going to be accused of being on FB too much on those rare occasions you are at the office.
One way or another - You are going to track down that smell!
You’re going to be told you are trying to be too cool by leaders who at some point will fire you because you “no longer connect” with the kids.
You will take a teen to a Christian college event and they will have the time of their life and want to go there - a mom is going to be upset ‘cause her future Michael Jordan doesn’t want to go to a school where they might be spotted to play pro ball - you saw them play - you know you did the right thing.
Your son will be called the youth program mascot - you will laugh and then think....REALLY?
You are going to be told that the young people need to rake leaves for the older people - you’re going to wonder where that is in the Bible - it is - I’m sure it is...it must be.
You will be asked deeper theological questions than you are prepared to answer.
Your faith will be tested, your patience will be tested, your energy will be tested - you will remember that you cannot be tested beyond what you can endure.
You are going to take your infant daughter to work with you and an elder or sec will object - you only did it so your wife could work and you could stay off food stamps.
You are going to be asked to speak on “that event” that you measure the success of your ministry through.
You’re going to come up with that perfectly heart pricking devotional but none of the kids will be there because there was an AAU tournament that weekend.
You’re going to be told sandals are not appropriate attire for if you are going to head the Lord’s Table - you are going to tell them that Jesus wore sandals, you are going to be right - buy a pair of big boy shoes anyway - you’ll lose that argument.
One of the kids in the youth group is going to do something really stupid and you are going to be held responsible for it (it will probably be an elder’s kids - just accept it).
You’re going to take the youth group on a positively life changing retreat - A charge on the church credit card is going to be questioned.
You’re going to attend more soccer games, football games, basketball games, recitals, plays, tennis matches (who goes to tennis matches), baseball games, swim meets and chess tournaments than any coach.
You’re going to have to be better than the FBI at tracking down signatures.
You’re going to wonder if you have outlived your own effectiveness - often.
You are going to shed enough tears to fill a camp swimming pool when you baptize a young person who would have never known the Lord except through your ministry.
Your house will become a haven for a teenaged buy trying to avoid his abusive father.
Your wife is going to love you, respect you and fight for you.
You will have a minister who will minister to you.
You are going to be thanked over and over again by a young single mom because you were the strongest and most wonderful man in her sons’ lives and she sees that influence every day.
You are going to be real - you are going to love and be loved.
Your living room will be known as a center of praise.
That silly girl is going to develop a heart of compassion that glows and illuminates the whole church - she’s going to thank you.
That boy voted most likely to become a terrorist is going to become a great spiritual leader who delights in sharing God’s word and love with others - he will call you about once every month or so - just to hear your voice and say ‘thank you’.
Some young romance that developed in the group is going to do mission work in a third world country - your sacrifice will make their dirt floor mean nothing to them - because they have seen that love lives in houses that money can’t buy.
You will get a call at 2am from someone who is hurting - because you are the only person in the world who they feel loved by.
That boy making the smell is going to grow up and want to be a youth minister because of your patience and influence.
You are going to attend a graduation and the class valedictorian is going to tell about their hero - you will weep uncontrollably when they shock you be calling your name.
You will laugh till you cry...you will cry...you will be content.
Someone is going to name their child after you.
You will get to be a part of a band of brothers, some of your fellow youth ministers, who understand...listen to each other and avoid jealousy like the plague.
And people will be in heaven because you cared!
Make something happen - Gene and Eugene...