Anyways, moments like these remind me of what a great job I have. And that ultimately gets me thinking of how many times I've heard someone say to me "What do you do all day?!?!" And rest assured that I've heard my fair share of jokes about the youth ministry stereotypes:
- I only work one night a week
- My car is littered with McDonald's garbage
- My primary food group is pizza & Coke
- I'm always up to 3am playing Xbox
- I can't show up in the office on time
- my office is a mess
- I have a Rolodex of games that result in barfing, belching or farting
- I only wear shorts and flip flops
- I need to become a real pastor
Youth Ministry can be a lot of fun, but I'm officially "on the clock" Monday & Wednesday nights. My leaders show up between 6:15-6:30pm, with students arriving shortly after. I leave when they leave, which ranges between 9:00-10:00pm. I have 2 separate groups of students that I am responsible for, but that doesn't mean I do everything myself on a given night. I have some great leaders who are stepping up in some big ways to help out. Set up, teaching, games, music, clean up, prayer times, small groups...you name it. But, at the end of the night, it's my butt on the line to ensure that certain things happen: sound Biblical teaching, a safe environment (physically, emotionally and relationally), fun and connecting with parents, students and leaders.
My office fridge is stocked with pop. And while I occasionally partake of the delicious caffeinated fizzy beverage, my students know the rule: if you show up in my office outside of a youth night, you can help yourself to the fridge. I do not live off Coke, but I do start most mornings with a French Vanilla cappuccino.
This I can't escape. I love pizza. It is the food of choice at youth & leader events alike because it's convenient, relatively cheap, easy to clean up and it doesn't require me to book the church kitchen or be certified as "Food Safe". Also, on the rare occasion when there are leftovers, my kid's get a special lunch for school: cold pizza!
I do not own, nor do I play Xbox. I occasionally attend a Halo night one of my youth leaders hosts, and I am usually guaranteed to be in the bottom 3 of the 12-16 people there. I do however play PS3. I can stand my ground in Call of Duty or FIFA, but my 9 year old will beat me at NHL 10.
Anything else you're dying to know about what I do all day?
In my next post I'll fill you in on my office.