- Christopher Wesley
After my year of volunteering, I needed a job that could pay the bills and keep me from moving back home. That’s when I found a position as a middle school youth minister. My initial thought was, “I can do this for two years while I figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.” Over a decade later, I wouldn’t change what I do. I love youth ministry and I love working for the local church. Often I get asked, “How did you afford it considering you have a family?” The truth is that it wasn’t always easy, but it is possible.
EMBRACE THE BALANCE AND SACRIFICETo work in any industry takes sacrifice. If you want to balance your professional and personal life, you need to communicate and know your limitations. Do not assume that your spouse or your pastor understands what it takes to maintain balance. Some of the difficult conversations circled around:
- Working on Sundays and holidays.
- Having my spouse work full-time.
- Taking time off and changing my schedule for life change (i.e., children).
UNDERSTAND YOUR PROFESSIONAL WORTHA big mistake I made early on in ministry was assuming that I was owed a salary based on life choices like marriage, home ownership and children. While God was calling me to pursue those paths, it didn’t mean the church had to fund them. Your worth as a youth minister is based off of the work you do. To understand your professional worth you should:
- Look at the average income of a youth minister in your area.
- Evaluate what you bring to the organization and overall performance.
- Know the financial limitations of your parish.