Women in ministry?
I’m a woman and a pretty darn good youth pastor. It’s hard to be a woman in ministry. Let’s face it–women in pastoral leadership have not always been well received. It’s rare to see women leading the charge and it’s even more rare to find women in youth ministry.
Why is this?
Well, it’s kind of a boys club. That’s not meant to be offensive, it’s just reality. Youth ministry is a male dominated field, but it doesn’t have to be. I want women and men to be caring for our teenagers, but I think people are afraid of what they have never experienced before. If we want to see gifted leaders lead, regardless of gender, then we (ladies) can’t be afraid to step up. And yes, I know it’s hard. I know you’ll be the “only one”. But we need some pioneers to pave the way. Women add a necessary and unique perspective to ministry, and Vineyard churches need them.
Do we have to do it the way it’s always been done?
Absolutely not. For me, this is the most freeing thing. For example, I never do gross games. No eating random foods all blended together into one shake of disgusting-ness. No all-nighters (why would we want to teach our students that eating junk food all night and not sleeping for 24 hours is a healthy idea?). But thankfully, those aren’t the things that make me a successful youth pastor.
I’m a good youth pastor because I first said “yes” to the Father’s call. He called me and continues to equip me to share his love and truth with a world that so desperately needs to hear it. I want to follow Him and use the gifts He has given me for His Kingdom.
The bottom line is that teenagers need pastors (men and women) who are willing to love Jesus with everything they have and to teach them how to do the same. And loving Jesus means loving your students by investing in their lives, redirecting them when they get off-course, making them a priority, telling them how much God loves them, and assuring them that they are the righteous sons and daughters of the King. And of course, none of that hinges on the fact that you are a man or a woman.
5 things to think about as you pursue a life in ministry
- Stay intimately connected to the Father. (John 15:5)
- Be confident. Don’t second-guess the calling. Just keep doing the last thing that Jesus told you to do.
- The best leaders are servants. (Follow Jesus’ example! Mark 10:43-45)
- Leaders lead. If God has given you the gift of leadership, use it well.
- Stay positive. Attitude is everything.
Go for it!
Whether male or female, if you are called and willing to lead, and if you have a passion for seeing the lives of teenagers dramatically transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit as they learn who their identity is in Him, then start taking the steps that might just lead to you becoming a youth pastor. Don’t wait. Our teenagers are waiting and they need us.