Five Reasons Young People Rethink Entering Ministry

Five Reasons Young People Rethink Entering Ministry

You see, ministry certainly isn't a 9-5 job and you call it a day. It isn't even like being a doctor and on-call sometimes. You are on duty 100% of the time.

As a young Christian woman who has felt the call to ministry I have an unique perspective when it comes to the issue of a clergy shortage in the United States. While some denominations are flourishing in certain parts of the country others are circling the drain. As a United Methodist living in rural Iowa, I know the pain of that clergy shortage all too well. 17 churches in my conference are listed as a delayed appointment. They have no full time clergy.

Some ask why I haven't started the process, entered candidacy, and taken over at one of these churches. And while part of the answer is that I'm still in college, taking 17 credit hours a semester, there are five big reasons that I am opposed to entering into vocational ministry. Here are five reasons that young people are not entering into ministry right away.

1. We live in a fishbowl.

You've heard of the fishbowl, right? If you are a pastor's kid you know it all too well. Everyone is watching your every move. Whether or not you make the right one or the wrong one, someone will always have something to say about it. Oh, and don't worry, it's only nearly impossible to date.

2. Our discipline, let's face it, is kind of outdated.

While yes, I do agree with 95% of our churches discipline, I do not agree with all of it. I won't tell you where I draw the line, or where my tipping point hit in a matter of understanding why literally none of my peers want to answer the call they feel. But lets face it, society has moved past some things that used to be "taboo". Yet our churches still look at them and think of it as one of the seven deadly sins.

3. You don't listen to us.

Straight up, you don't. We come to you as laity, as freaking members of your congregation, and you denounce anything we have to say. You want us to come up with ideas to gain more young people into worship on Sundays? Oh, but you are also completely opposed to contemporary anything in worship and you can't do something on a weekend versus a weekday? Yeah, okay. We will get right on that.

4. You expect all young people to be like us, when really we are the exception to the rule.

I don't know how many times I've had to tell people that I'm the exception to the rule. People have told me I'm the hope they see in the church, and that everyone needs to be more like me when it comes to my priorities, but lets face it, it won't happen. Skipping a school function to be at youth? Putting church before everything else, including some family events? Yeah, I'm the exception to the rule my dearest friends. It's part of my call to ministry.

5. Ministry isn't just a full-time job, it's a way of life.

This is the biggest challenge when discerning a call to ministry. You see, ministry certainly isn't a 9-5 job and you call it a day. It isn't even like being a doctor and on-call sometimes. You are on duty 100% of the time. Sure, there are times where you can hang out with friends and leave "Pastor" at church, but your phone could ring at any moment with an emergency on the other end. It's spending hours in the waiting room while someone is in surgery to comfort the family. It's being there during funeral arrangements to reassure the family that they will see their loved ones again. It's being a safe place for people to come with their problems, frustrations, and struggles in life.

While I love the ministry that I do with all my heart, and while I will still more than likely end up in full time vocational ministry as my first and only career, I needed to tell you these five things. I needed to bring to your attention that this thing that looks like it is simple and easy and a 40 hour work week is really not at all what it seems to be. It's not being able to talk about your day because of confidentiality. It's time away from family during special occasions because someone else needs you. And that's for people of any age. You throw in a young person, and dare to say a young woman, and things get really crazy.

Know that we, with all of our hearts, want to fulfill the call that God has on our lives. But sometimes the way we are treated really makes us rethink that cush 9-5 job.

Cover Image Credit: Art McClanahan

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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There Is No 'Right Way' To React To A Shooting

Everyone is different.


After the shootings this year in New Zealand, Brazil, and close to home for some of us Aurora, people have been reacting in different ways. With some offering their thoughts and prayers, donating money to help pay for the funerals of the victims, fighting for action in regards to ending gun violence, candlelight vigils basically anything that can help them in this time of grief.

There is no right or wrong way to react to a shooting — everyone grieves in their own ways. We should not judge one another for how we grieve in a tragedy.

People have been saying that thoughts and prayers won't do anything. However, maybe it can be a comfort to some people—a way to let people know that they are thinking of them and that they care.

Sometimes people may want to donate money or blood to help out any survivors who may have suffered from blood loss or create GoFundMe accounts to either help out with medical expenses or to pay for the funerals of the victims or even start charities like Islamic Relief USA. Donating your time and money is a good way to help out because you are making a difference that is a form of action you are taking.

There is also grieving in the form of vigils. One example of a vigil is this guy who makes crosses every time there is some kind of tragedy. Vigils are often a good way to remember the victims, to pray for the healing of the survivors, to talk about what they were like as people.

Some people even want to take action by demanding that the laws change a good example of this would be March for Our Lives, which happened after the Parkland shooting last year. This march was fighting for gun control or should I say changes in the gun laws America currently has.

Some people also do acts of solidarity, for example, wearing a hijab like the prime minister of New Zealand did when she went to go visit the Christchurch shooting survivors. My community college had something a couple of years ago called Hijab Day to help show solidarity with our friends. I participated, and it was quite an experience—no one should ever be afraid to be who they are.

There is never a right or wrong way to react, and no one should ever criticize one another for how they react. It's not a test where there is a right or wrong answer—everyone is different and that is okay.

No one should ever have to be afraid to go to school, go to work, or go to their place of worship or wherever they decide to go. Whatever we decide to do to make a change, as long as we are taking some kind of action, is good enough for me.

Nothing ever gets done by sitting around and doing nothing, so whatever it is you do, get out there and do it. As long as you are showing support it doesn't matter how you show it.

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