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.
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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 Our discipline, let's face it, is kind of outdated.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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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

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By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

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When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

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6 Things You'll Only Come To Realize Once You're A True Kentuckian

Living in Kentucky feels like being part of some secret club sometimes...except maybe a little less covert, but almost as cool.

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When I moved to Louisville, Kentucky five years ago, I had no idea what I was in store for. I heard new words, saw new things, and had many experiences I never would have had before my time here in "horse country." I have lived in four states, but Kentucky has definitely been one of the most unique. Many hold common misconceptions about this state, just as I did before my time here. So, here are just a few things I think I can fully understand now, as a true Kentuckian.

1. Kentucky does, in fact, exist

Kentucky

"What?" you may be asking. Well, to that I say yes. When my parents told me we were moving to "Kentucky," it took me a while to figure out exactly what and where this foreign place was (and yes I aced my 5th-grade states test, this just shows how unknown Kentucky is to some).

2. Churchill Downs and Keeneland

Derby

Okay, okay, I know horse racing is pretty familiar to people across the country. But, no one can understand how big of a deal it is until they have lived among the delightful insanity of these two major racetracks. More specifically, the pompous celebrations around Derby create an environment for weeks that Louisville, specifically, thrives off of. No non-Kentuckian could ever describe the excitement leading up to the big race, or even the more modest yet lively weekends at Keeneland.

3. Saying "y'all"

yodeling

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I do realize that this is a southern thing in general, but for about my first three years here, I refused to say the word, as if it would turn me into the Walmart yodeling kid himself (which isn't really a bad thing, by the way). But, as time passed I began using the term, and ever since then, I have never felt more like a true Kentuckian.

4. Yes! We DO wear shoes!

shoes

Excuse me, what? I'm just gonna leave this here. A true Kentuckian knows that we do, in fact, wear shoes. We are still in America people. Although, hey, sometimes ya just gotta kick off those shoes no matter what state you're in.

5. It is not all "yee haw" county and dirt roads, thank you

We have brick buildings, running water, and even a Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse! A true Kentuckian knows how to eat with silverware, cook on an actual stove, and use a real-life cell phone.

6. Driving on Kentucky backroads

Okay, okay, I said it's not ALL yee haw county and dirt roads. But, okay, some of it is, yes. A true Kentuckian hops in their car and can drive those Kentucky back roads for hours, admiring the beautiful pastures full of horses, flowers, and rustic barns. This sight is really something I never appreciated until I moved here and now I can understand why Kentuckians are so content. This experience of simply letting yourself relax and admire such a peaceful sight is one not often found in other places.


Kentucky is my home, and I wouldn't change these unique experiences for the world. After I moved here, I never thought I would say it, but, I am proud to be a true Kentuckian.

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