Leaving the World of Youth Ministry

There was a time, not too long ago, when I thought, even said, I will retire from youth ministry. I love youth ministry. And I honestly thought I would be a life-long youth worker. But much to my surprise, and surprisingly, I am leave the world of youth ministry.

These last seven months have been a crazy ride of discovering who God is calling me to be. Having accepted the call to be the lead pastor at Harvest Church, I thought the transition from youth pastor to lead pastor would be an easy move. But a big part of me still wanted to keep a foot in the youth ministry community.

I’ve kept trying to write for youth blogs. I’ve kept trying to get something published by youth ministry magazines. And I tried to keep my own youth ministry blog up and running. But all the work I put into trying to have a voice in the world I loved so much, only left me frustrated and empty. Empty of ideas, empty of direction, empty of useful material.

Then it hit me. One of my favorite youth worker conferences came and went, and I missed it. And I thought, maybe it was time to be done with youth ministry.

So it is with a sadness I announce my departure from the youth ministry world.

What does that mean? Basically, I think I’m done trying to write for the youth ministry community. As my thoughts and attention shifts to the needs and care of the church, I will spend less and less time working directly with students and more and more time ministering to adults and families. Now there will be the work I do with students at Harvest, but that is only until we’re able to hire a youth worker.

Here’s why this is important. Writing for youth workers should be done by the youth workers. So no more Youth Worker Tip of the Day. No more youth ministry themed blogs. And no more striving to the published article in a magazine. From now on it’s about Harvest Church and what God is teaching me as I become the pastor he has called me to be.

So goodbye Youth Ministry Nation. Hello to the brand new world of the church.

– jay

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