Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The REAL Job Description of a Youth Worker

The last two days have been a lot of planning for me. Which I guess in my life that's normal because a lot of what I do is plan events for the youth at my church.

But among all of the planning I do, people still ask me "so... what do you do?" Even the youth at times have asked me this. ::Sigh:: I told one of them once basically what my job was and they said "That's it?" ::Sigh::

But seriously... is planning events REALLY all I do? It feels like it sometimes. But it's not at all. When you look at job descriptions for youth workers/directors/ministers/pastors it appears to be A LOT of planning. Yet, that doesn't quite cover it. At all. 

From my past 2 (going on 3) years at St. Andrew, my DCE classes at Concordia, fieldwork, and various other experiences, here is what I personally think should really be the job description of a Youth Worker/Minister/Director/Pastor.

  • Events coordinator. If they want it to happen, make it happen. Usually "they" means youth, but anyone else too. 
  • Teacher. You'll be doing a lot of Bible studies and Confirmation classes and Sunday School classes. You'd be surprised the questions they ask...
  • Adventurer. Hanging out with 11-18 year olds is an adventure in itself! Try it while in cabins, caves, 15 passenger vans, in pitch darkness, open flames, cross-dressers across the street, and animals... ALL IN ONE WEEKEND! 
  • Interior Designer. Who else is going to decorate the youth room?
  • Painter. Did you know that a majority of service projects for teenagers includes painting?
  • Carpenter. See painter. 
  • Social Networking Expert/Tutor. Part of the job is teaching EVERYONE else on staff how to use Facebook & Twitter. One of the biggest parts of the job is also to contact and friend every teenager in the state on Facebook. 
  •  Music Leader. They want to sing and play instruments, so you teach them... even if you don't know how.
  • Graphic Designer. Who else is going to put together all of those youth newsletters and make them look as TOTALLY AWESOME as they do?
  • Janitor. Let's just say that teenagers leave REALLY big messes sometimes. 
  • Judge. But she said this, and he did that, and she then said that. Who's right? Who's wrong? Find out next time on JUDGE EMILY.
  • Preacher. Sometimes for chapel services... sometimes for individuals...
  • Movie and Music Critic. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find QUALITY movies and music for teenagers to watch and listen to and it NOT have terrible acting, lyrics, or dumb chord progressions?
  • Expert Theologian. But Emily, what is the 20th verse of the 3rd chapter in the book of Amos?
  • Part - Time Soccer Mom. You better have a big car so you can pick kids up from school and go to EVERY SINGLE SPORTS EVENT and cheer those kids on!
  • Chef. Hello? Have you not heard the TEENAGER part of this? They have like 6 stomachs each.
  • Private Investigator. Who is going to know what the community's teenagers are doing, where they are, and even where they are living?  The youth director will find out!
  • Gossip Girl. Who's dating who? Who just had the big fight in the quad? The youth mister has all the dirt. 
  • BFF. From random text messages, seeing movies, going out for ice cream, talking about Twilight, and Facebook Chat conversations, the youth minister IS THERE. Just be sure that your cell phone has unlimited EVERYTHING.
  • Counselor. ::Sob:: ::Tears:: Having a box of tissues at all times comes in handy. Also make sure your shoulder is free for a good cry every once in a while. 
  • Resident Psycho.  If you aren't a tad bit crazy... this probably isn't the job for you.
Yes... I feel like that is a pretty good job description. LOL. But in all honesty... some of those things are the very reason why it's awesome. 

1 comment:

  1. This is SO TRUE! Love it...had me cracking up out loud in my office. You are right on, girl! :)


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