Last week we expressed our frustrations. Most of those probably resonated with many youth ministers. Today we keep it short, sweet, and beautifully written. While it is good to struggle together, we must also focus on the joys. Which is what we do today with….

“Top 10 Joys of Youth Ministry”

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Rev. Alice Cates serves as the Minister to Youth at Chester Baptist Church in Chester, VA (just south of Richmond). She earned her Master of Divinity degree from the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, her Master’s in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, her undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts from Campbell University, and was ordained to Christian Ministry at Biltmore Baptist Church in Glen Allen, VA. Alice greatly enjoys laughing out loud, preaching, spending time with her super rad niece and nephew, sunny days in the park, wrangling her bloodthirsty housecat Henrietta, and Netflixing.

Top 10 Joys of Youth Ministry (In no particular order)

  1. Being invited into your students’ most exciting life-experiences and watching them shine
  2. Being invited into your students’ darkest, most difficult and vulnerable places
  3. “Aha” moments
  4. Witnessing growth: spiritually, emotionally, socially
  5. Identifying and calling out gifts in your students
  6. Watching and guiding students as they embrace and begin to live out their calling
  7. Being a part of a weird, smelly, goofy mini-eco-system that makes you feel young and alive and really really old all at the same time.
  8. That feeling of total exhaustion after a retreat or major event (It’s the best kind of tired)
  9. Serving alongside your students; learning to be and meet Jesus
  10. Witnessing your students connecting with God (often when they least expect it)