(Or why I am not looking for another 'Youth Work' job.)
N.B. I apologise to any followers out there that 2012 has been rather quiet on the blog front. I had a Dissertation to write...
So the end of my full time Youth Ministry job came and went. Was I sad? Yes. I've poured five years of my life into that place and I'm ain't 'alf going to miss all of the beautiful children and young people that I had the privilege to journey alongside. But am I excited? Yes. God has a plan for my life, and I am finally free to "do" ministry the way I have felt God calling me to do ministry over the last few years. My time is free to help those in need, not just those who are 'my responsibility'. In just over two weeks time I am off to the Philippines... a place very close to my heart, and somewhere I have missed over the last two years. I shall spend 9 weeks there, revisiting old friends, helping in projects and being helped a thousand times over. I shall laugh, cry and sit with my Filipino brothers and sisters, listening to their stories and telling them mine. It is going to be amazing.
When I return, I am looking for a run-of-the-mill, boring, job. One that I can go home from. One that gives me enough money to get through the days, and perhaps save a little too. Something with little responsibility. Now, quite a few people (including the lady from the Job Centre and my Mum) think that I am being a complete idiot for not looking for a Youth Work job as I have just graduated with a BA (Hons) Degree in Youth and Community Ministry. However, there are four main reasons for this decision:
1) I have spent the last five years of my life as a FULL time Youth Minister.. whilst studying for a degree. That not only left very little time for a social life, but also has driven me slightly crazy. As a 23-year-old, I need to have a job, at least for a while, that allows me time to be myself, time to spend with my boyfriend, and time to do things that I want to do, like join a sports team, meet up with friends, see my family more. etc.
2) Being a FT Youth Minister carries a lot of responsibilities and pressure, things that don't really go away when you go home of an evening. I feel that I may have missed out on some normal 18-23year old growing up experiences (like learning to drive) and I would like a chance to do those before I gain any more responsibility.
3) I have come to realise that 'doing' youth work is not about your job. I have a passion for young people, and to be paid to spend time with them and guide them and befriend them feels a bit wrong. So whilst I figure the whole lifestyle/vocation thing out, I have chosen to step away from being employed as a youth worker. I will always be a 'youth worker' at heart... I'm just not sure I want it to be my job. I love young people. And I don't have to have a title to do that.
4) For the last few months I have felt God calling me to my life-purpose. Opening some kind of safe-house/orphanage in the Philippines. This requires a lot of research, patience and prayer, as I don't yet know the exact timings of when this will come to pass. I'm trusting God on that one... but feel that I cannot commit fully to a church or an organisation working with young people whilst my mind is 'out of this place' so to speak.
So there you are. Four reasons why I am not looking for Youth Work jobs. Until next time...