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"I feel called to be a youth pastor?" I suspect that God could “call” people to the youth pastor vocations and ZIP codes. However I think the Bible has a different definition of"call." Calling has more to do with becoming the people of God and living a holy and righteous life rather than deciding what church position to take and where to take it. These decisions are merely choices.

The Youth Pastor Call

Ephesians 2:10   10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared (not forced us) in advance for us to do.

My central questions is:  Is it okay to say:  “I feel called to be a youth pastor?”

I suspect that  God could “call” people to the youth pastor vocations and to certain ZIP codes.  However I think the Bible has a different definition of “call.”    Calling has more to do with becoming  the people of God and living a holy and righteous life rather than deciding what church position to take and where to take it.

These decisions are merely choices.

In contrast, according to Calvinism there is this lofty idea of:  unconditional salvation.  There is this destiny of foreknowledge, which suggests that humans have no choice.  God is basically sitting up in the control tower controlling humanity.  Unfortunately, Calvinist see a linear-development of time.  Time is compressed into one moment as humanity slowly unveils God’s plan, second by second.  Actually Muslims subscribe to predestination. (Qu’ran: S. 3:145, 6:59, 7:188, 9:51 )   The Islamic concept of God is that history unfolds God’s plan.  God lays the map out and controls humanity to open it–piece by piece.

I appreciate Calvinism for two reasons.  First, it destroyed the monasteries and made the world a monastery.  Second, Calvinism has a huge emphasize on call.  You can serve God in and out of the monastery.  One sees their labors as BIG and that their labors contribute to the furthering of God’s Kingdom. I like how Calvinists emphasize on call because God obviously has pre-ordained us for something BIG.

But…..(there always is a but…) our understanding of call is messed up.

When God “calls” His people, He is calling them to commune with Him.  God wants intimacy and connection with us.  I think God is more concerned with our connection with Him, rather than our vocation.

Is it okay to say:  “I feel called to be a youth pastor?”  No.  It is better to say: I love Jesus and I love spending time with Him and I am really passionate about working with teens….so therefore I might go work at a church as the youth pastor.

So many youth pastors shoot themselves in the foot because they are saying: “I feel called to 1st Baptist Church of Detroit” and 11 months later they are leaving and saying…. “I am now being called to 2nd Baptist Church of Redding”.

Wait…..what?

The reality is…. 1st Baptist Church of Detroit wasn’t paying you enough money, the kids didn’t like you, and you didn’t get along with the secretary because of your baggage and now you are throwing God under the bus by saying you are now….. being called elsewhere.

Can you see the dangers of saying “I am called…..?”  Also, saying you are called to something is stoic and formulaic.  Why do you work with students?  Well…. “God called me to it.”  The better answer would be….  “I love teenagers and helping point them towards Jesus in the most pivotal and transformational moment in their life.”  Being called is like you are a robot doing it because you have to.

You don’t have to do anything….  You have a desire and a passion to work with teenagers, so you CHOSE to do it.

About Jeremy Zach

Orange XP3 Specialist | Youth Worker | MDIV | Hot Sauce Addict | Dr. Dre Beats Lover

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