Part AI knew God was calling me into full time student ministry. I also knew I had zero training, schooling, education in student ministry. I grew up as a pastor’s and missionary’s kid so I was very familiar with ministry and the church. I had a couple years under my belt as a volunteer youth minister but that was it.
My approach wasn’t the best but it seemed to work. I looked to see what churches in our denomination in our state had openings for youth pastor. I found three churches who were looking for a youth pastor. So I sat down at my Gateway computer and typed up a resume. I remember thinking, “Who is going to hire a guy with no education in youth ministry?”. Several weeks later I received a call from a pastor informing me that their search committee would like to interview me. I was quite shocked. It worked!
I did the interview. The position wasn’t offered to me that day but I remember, as I drove off with my lovely wife to make the several hour drive back to our home, telling Misha that we needed to start collecting moving boxes. I was confident that this was the church. Even without the job offer I knew that this was where I was going, it was that clear to me.
A couple of weeks later I was asked to come meet the church, share my testimony, and be interviewed again . . . by the entire church. After the morning worship there was a lunch and then for what seemed like an eternity I was asked questions. All kinds of questions. Had I been older and wiser I know I would have had some better responses to the questions. I also would have been able to see through the questions to the heart of the question, why the person was asking the question.
I made it through the process and the church voted and I was hired. I had my first student ministry position. I was thrilled and excited. I’m an entrepreneur at heart so new adventures always excite me. Honestly I’m surprised any church would have hired me. As I look back I feel sorry for that youth group. I was green, fresh and fairly stupid. I know that I would be a much better youth minister to them today then I was then but of course after we do something for a long amount of time we would hope we are improving and sharpening our skills.
In my next post I'm going to give my advice, for what it's worth, to the new guy who is about to sit down to interview at a church.