I have been in some sort of youth ministry capacity for 14 years. From volunteer to staff, most of which at the same church. Through those years I had a fluctuation of feelings towards being a woman in youth ministry. Sometimes, under the right leadership, I felt no different.
My early years of being a volunteer youth leader I had no idea women were treated differently in the church. I was young and relatively new to Jesus and naive to the fact that women would be treated differently. But the longer I was in ministry the more I saw it. The higher in leadership the worst it got. Leadership changed and moved and eventually I was under leadership that treated me like I was second best. When the leader over me left, it should have been a natural switch from them to me, but a post was made on a job site instead.
I have been crushed by this weight for a long time that I was second best. As I went into interviews I remember this thought plaguing my mind. That why would they want me? A female youth pastor? Wasn’t I a second choice?? Weren’t women just meant to play “helper” and “servant” to men.
But that isn’t the truth. This is not to say that we don’t have parts in that, but that is not the only way God created us to live. We weren’t just God’s second choice. We were the finishing product of Gods creation. We were the ones God chose to be the first to see Jesus risen from the dead. We were no second choice.
So, to my lovely ladies in youth ministry, I want you to know something.
- You are capable.
- You are called.
- You are worthy.
- You bring value.
- You can do it.
- You are not a second choice.
If you are feeling any differently than that, I understand and I am sorry. The place you are in may not be the healthiest. Maybe you can’t even shift from that place.
My advice to you? KNOW the truth, hold your head high and kill it anyways.
Be awesome because that’s what you were created to be. When that still is hard, well get ladies around you to cheer you on.
I highly highly recommend the Women In Youth Ministry Facebook group. It is by far my favorite group I am in. So if you are weary, feeling like a failure or second best. I want to tell you; you are nothing close to that. Lift up your head and walk in the CALLING God has for you Pastor. (Whether pastor is your title or not… we know what you are)
I am cheering you on from afar.