People who don’t know me think I’m crazy when I say I turned down an anchor job in one of my favorite cities to pursue a calling as a youth minister. But friends and family have all had the same response: “Finally!”
You know, pastors and journalists actually have a lot in common. Both speak up for the rights of those who don’t have a voice (Proverbs 31:8), both devote themselves to serving their communities (Mark 10:35-45) and both are motivated by something greater than themselves (Galatians 2:20) – at least the ones I’ve had the pleasure to work beside.
The same question continues to pop up though. Why?
Why trade in an SEC football sideline pass for 5am wake-up calls for bible studies with students before school? Why turn down the opportunity to interview one of the greatest coaches of all time (Roll Tide) each week for 2 more years in seminary? Why walk away from a career so many girls dream of having for sleep-deprived weekends in church lock-ins?
Because they are worth it.
I want students to know this Jesus who turned my life upside down in the 7th grade. I want to walk beside them as they wrestle through life's challenges. I want to remind them they aren’t alone. I want to encourage them they don’t have to be an adult to make a difference (1 Timothy 4:12) – God sees their great potential and He believes in them.
While in Birmingham (2012-2015), I volunteered as a youth bible study leader and soccer coach with NorthStar Youth Ministry. Those 3.5 years with those girls and their families changed my life forever. It was then that I realized my desire to someday pursue this calling more than just 4 days a week… Now, that time has come.
I don’t expect to be perfect in this role or know all the answers, but I do know the One who does – and He promises to go before me and behind me (Psalm 139:5).
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute."