Vision: Are You Called to Teach Teens?
This is an important question that we hear often: How does one really know if they are called to minister to teens?
“Being called” is a difficult theological topic that is deserving of some deep Bible study. Those resources, if you wish to approach your question that way, are readily available elsewhere. We don’t have the space to do that kind of study here, but we can provide some food for thought that will help you sort out your place in ministering to teens. If you are asking yourself—and God—questions about whether or not you should be teaching students, consider this:
1. Why is ministering to students important to you? Do you have a teenager? Did you miss out as a teen on age-specific ministry?
2. Are you a gifted teacher? You can find this out by taking any number of Spiritual Gifts Inventories. There is a simple one here under the Spiritual Gifts lesson series. (Click here) If you are not a gifted teacher, this will help you sort out how else you might be able to serve (prayer, hospitality, etc.)
3. Do you already have influence with teens? How do they respond to you? Perhaps your job gives you an “in” with kids—if you’re a school teacher, coach, or bus driver, for instance.
4. Do you have time to invest? Depending on your place in life, you may or may not have time to give. Are there things you are willing to sacrifice to make time? Is your spouse/family supportive?
5. Do you feel an urgency to work with teenagers? How do you feel when you see them at the mall, the movies, or in a restaurant? Do you want to fix kids or love them? If you just want to fix them, youth work may not be for you. If you genuinely love them, then perhaps it’s just the thing you should be doing.
6. Have you prayed about it? What did you sense God saying to you? Consider a time of prayer and fasting. Ask other people who know you well what they think. Seek wisdom from your church leadership to see if they feel there are any opportunities for you in this area.
7. What other ministry efforts take up your time? Do you have time to serve in more than one area? Are you a serve-aholic? Is God calling you to serve or are you just anxious to stay busy? Those are very different things.
Once you begin to sense you are called to serve students, you need to figure out exactly how. If it’s not in a teaching role, perhaps you can provide a host home for a Bible study. Maybe you can be a prayer warrior for the youth group, or provide finances for trips, camps, and retreats. Just because you are not suited to teach does not mean you are not suited to serve. Read 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, Ephesians 4:11-13, and Romans 12:6-8 for more on giftedness. If after you’ve prayed and sought godly wisdom you still feel a tug to get involved, then jump in wherever you can!