The Unique Challenge of Youth Ministry Without Having Kids
When you think of a youth minister who is married but has decided not to have kids, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Do you wonder if he is selfish and chose not to have kids so that he can live his life free from the pressures of being a parent? Do you consider him lazy or immature as he lives alone with his spouse? What if I told you that choosing to remain childless may actually be a way to serve God more fully? While we are all aware of the benefits that having kids can bring to your household, today I want to share the unique challenge of doing youth ministry without having kids of your own.
When a youth minister does not have kids of his own, he is able to keep the ministry at a higher priority and devote more time to the youth of his church. Instead of balancing his schedule to attend his own children’s sports, he is able to be actively involved in the sports of the kids in his youth group. When an emergency happens in the middle of the night, he doesn’t have to worry about getting his kids to school on time and is able to be there with the family involved. When a new ministry opportunity opens up in another town or state, he is able to move without worrying about how his children will adjust to a new school.
When a youth minister has kids, he is able to be a solid example and model for the parents in his ministry. He is able to practice what he preaches in his own household and give parents something to strive towards. It can be very difficult to teach a parenting class when you yourself are not a parent. Parents in the church are often looking for someone to ask questions to and usually, their first choice is not the young or childless youth minister. Someone without kids may also overlook situations that parents clearly see, such as having an event that ends after nine o’clock on a school night.
If you have not been called to be a parent and are able to do youth ministry without kids of your own you need to consider both the benefits and difficulties that come with this lifestyle. You are not the parenting expert, but this doesn’t mean that you are off the hook. Here are some tips:
- Start building a resource library so that you can equip the families in your church with wise advice.
- Create a parent council to come alongside you and help you see things you are currently unaware of.
- Point parents to the real authority by reading and memorizing Scripture passages directed towards parents and use them in your weekly conversations.
Being in youth ministry without having kids of your own brings many challenges. Do you see additional benefits or difficulties that you would like to share? Is there advice that you can give to help a youth minister in this situation? Share in the comments!
Corey Jones is the lead children’s pastor of Southern Hills Christian Church in Carrollton, Georgia. In his spare time, you can find him at a local coffee shop or fighting crime in Gotham. Corey wants to encourage and equip those around him and can be found on social media at @COREYRAYJONES.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.