Cultivating audacity

Why do youth ministry?
Riding a bus full of rowdy, screaming teenagers can be hazardous and should be attempted only by trained professionals. Since I am a youth pastor, I am often blessed with this ministry opportunity, which usually involves walking through the bus to keep the conversation to a dull roar. But although accompanying the 50 eighth-graders in our confirmation program can be challenging, I usually learn something about my students in the process. Sometimes I discover how much they don’t know.

I was a little surprised when on one of these trips a student stopped me (a male Presbyterian) in the aisle and asked, “Why did you decide to become a priestess?” When all I could manage was a blank look, my young friend tried again: “When did you ask God into your heart or graduate from pastor’s school or whatever?”

“Are those supposed to be the same question?” I finally replied.


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