"Is there life after 50, in youth ministry?"
About two years ago I started that thought process in my life about youth ministry. I still loved it and thought all was well but what happens when others around you start asking that question such as, "aren't you getting a little old for this job?"
I became a Christian as a teenager in a youth evangelism conference. I was baptized as a teen, joining the church and getting involved in Sunday School, Youth Choir, Training Union (now there's a dated term), Wednesday night youth programs and various Bible studies that I could attend in my church. I also went to other churches seeking the will of God in my life. I learned to read the Bible and listen to the Holy Spirit in my life. I got involved in Youth For Christ (Campus Life) and Teens for Christ club in our school. There was a daily Bible study and prayer time in the art room of Mrs. Cunningham my Sophomore and Junior years.
I believed God was calling me into the ministry to preach the word and began that ministry call in my early teens. A teen reaching teens with the gospel of Jesus Christ, doing youth revivals, Bible studies, and mission work as well. Then a couple of years ago I looked in the mirror and saw this guy looking back at me and he had some gray hair where there used to be none. Wrinkles and lines that indicated life and life experiences were building behind the eyes and in the mind of this individual.
Now what about youth ministry? I still do it and I still love it. The students that I have the privilege to work with bless my heart and it is a joy to see them get it in the word and in their life as they follow Christ. I smile as I see them working to minister to others, build important relationships and lead in worship plus other ministries.
So is there life after age 50 in youth ministry? You better believe it! I love being with the students and seeing them connect. Those wrinkles, white hair, and life experiences are paying off with not only the students but as a resource for the parents. The opportunity to impact and help parents as they move forward in relationship with their child is awesome! To help the parent realize that they are the primary disciple leader and educator of their children is so important and I get to help them realize that.
Sure I am not some 25 year old youth pastor that is all cool, crazy, and chaotic; GREAT! I don't want to be. I want to be a guy that has 25 years of experience in both life and ministry over that guy, or girl, and yet, I am still crazy and chaotic. (I never was cool!)
So if anyone out there is thinking about youth ministry and you believe that God may be calling you to it, I have this advice for you; DO IT! It doesn't matter the age because it is the heart and the attitude that matters most. Cause I have to tell you, Is there life after 50 in Youth Ministry? You better believe it.