Older people are fantastic.
As I continue to grow in age, I’m starting to realize that older people know what they are talking about.
Yes, as a teenager, I thought my parents didn’t know what they were talking about. Who didn’t? I FOR SURE didn’t think my grandparents knew what they were talking about.
“They’re not cool,” I would tell myself. Clearly, my priorities were not quite in line with a mature adult.
God has changed me a lot in the past few years. I may be old when compared to a teenager, but I am still incredibly young in the world of Student Ministry. At the age of 21, I find myself having plenty of advantages when doing student ministry.
Here’s 6 advantages I think younger people (early-20s) have as a Student Minister.
1. ABUNDANCE OF MENTORS (older people)
“I believe the greatest benefit is the opportunity to be mentored while being hands on seeing God transform lives.” -Cody Brumley, Executive Pastor of FBC Jenks
The two people pictured above (Cody Brumley, first, Drew Wright, second) are two people that I am able to call mentors. What makes that advantageous is that they are not among the oldest people working in church ministry. As a younger person, you have many options when looking for leaders and pastors to guide you into being the best student minister you can be.
2. KNOWLEDGE OF CULTURE
“The clear advantage of being young in student ministry is the smaller distance between social context of the leader and student. You understand trends, verbiage and struggles in a way you can empathize with. It also gives an immediate example to your students of someone they could be since so rarely do they think beyond the next immediate life stage.” -Cody Brumley
Younger people understand what a high schooler is going through. We have SnapChat. We went to prom. We had graduation. Recently. When I am talking to a high schooler, I can relate to the problems they are having. Many times, I have had those problems recently in my own life.
“One of the biggest advantages of being young in ministry is the amount of time that you have to invest into ministry. The older you get the busier life gets. My advice to young guys is to use the ample amount of time now because at some point the pressures accompanied with life will change the amount of time and the way you do ministry.” -Drew Wright, Student minister of FBC Jenks
Most people my age have a lot more time than they think they do. We also tend to have less responsibilities. Many young people don’t have to make house payments, keep up with investments, raise up children, find good health insurance, etc. Life is easier, and we can focus more on ministry with less distractions than older people.
4. SMALLER EXPECTATIONS
Being young means you probably don’t bring as much baggage from ministry experiences when compared to someone older. With that, the expectations can be set very low. You don’t have a track record, and you are starting your career with a clean slate. Sometimes resumes show that you are supposed to be very good at doing something. A short resume gives you more freedom in finding what you’re will be strategy for a specific church.
This is directly from another blog by Carey Nieuwhof, where he says, “They love fun. And who wants to work in a boring workplace?” He’s talking about the younger generation, and I can agree. I embody this idea. I love having a good time and making people smile and laugh. Especially in a church office…..
Church leaders are praying for younger people to step into church ministry roles. You may be someone’s answered prayer. You being a student minister at a young age gives the older generation hope. Not all is lost. We are still going to grow. Christianity will continue to thrive. Christ is still relevant. You are the living proof of his relevancy today.