Lately my heart has been pulled to one position in the church: the part-time youth worker. This person is so full of heart for youth ministry. The position is necessary but often left out, overworked, and underpaid.
If you feel like I’m talking about you, most likely you’re a part-time youth worker. And If I could imagine the heart of the church speaking directly to you, it would go like this:
Dear Part-time Youth Worker,
We don’t get the chance to talk very often. So I wanted to share a few things I should’ve said long ago and much more often. We’re both so busy all the time. You’re busy doing everything you do, and I’m busy being the church. Still, I wish we had more time to connect.
I want to tell you how much I appreciate you not taking a raise the past few years. I know we’ve talked about you going full-time as the church grows. But we’ve really needed to focus our funding in other places.
If you feel unappreciated, I can understand. But please know we value you highly, even if your pay doesn’t necessarily reflect that. You’ve never pushed for a raise. And you’ve continued to work at the coffee shop to supplement your youth worker pay. Your workday starts at 4:30 a.m. on the weekdays so you can be a part-time youth worker on the weekends. You’ve shown me what real sacrifice and commitment look like.
You Are a Champion!
You’ve been a champion during every transition, no matter how long they last. I know it must be hard to understand why I’ve never offered you the Director Position. Yet I’ve trusted you to lead us through months and months of transition as the Interim Director. I’m blown away that you’ve chosen not to focus solely on titles. Instead, you trust securely in God and demonstrate true humility. Thank you for showing me servant leadership.
I’ve never expected you to consistently work over your 25 hours a week. But I’m so thankful I don’t have to explain to you that ministry never stops. It’s not something you can just turn off when you’ve worked your weekly hours. Week after week, month after month, you’ve gone above and beyond. You get here early and stay late. You go on youth retreats for days and still show up for a full week of work. The ministry doesn’t skip a beat because you define hard work.