Other duties as assigned…

Other duties as assigned

Many jobs have the phrase “others duties as assigned” at the end of their job description but I feel no other job quite fits this description like Youth Pastor.  The picture that you see above is with the youth from our church at our recent mission trip in North Carolina.  There were five youth groups there at our YouthWorks site in Taylorsville, NC and whatever youth ministry reached $300 of merchandise purchased first got to turn their leader in a human sundae which included chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, sprinkles, and whip cream!  I must say I call shenanigans on this since we had the largest group doubling most of the other groups there but I played along nonetheless.  It had been really hot all week (usually over 100 degrees with the heat index each day) and we worked really hard and therefore I wasn’t particularly excited to get “Sundaed” right before we went home.  I thankfully got to take a shower (after I got rinsed off with freezing water from a garden hose) before I drove home but regardless I don’t think anyone would really choose to be blowing sprinkles out of their nose for half the day.  I would also like to call a second shenanigans because the youth also reached another incentive where one of the YouthWorks leaders had to eat a small cup of cottage cheese (she hated cottage cheese) however she ate 3 bites and gave up.

Why do I bring this up?  It’s because in the ministry we will be called to do many things we might not have “signed up for”.  During my interview process no one asked me, “Are you willing to be covered in chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, sprinkles, and whip cream during the middle of the summer heat after serving all week before a 11 hour car ride?” However I believe there is much as a youth pastor that falls under the title “other duties as assigned.”  Does this mean that we have to do whatever people want us to do?  No way!  But are we willing to go the extra mile to reach out to those around us? To support them in their endeavors… I hope so….I think some of the most crucial things in youth ministry are for us to be able to laugh at ourselves, let down our guard, and enjoy life.

This picture although goofy reminds me that ministry will be messy both literally and figuratively at times.  We have to be willing to step out of the norm and be willing to step into the unknown.  Open up, let your guard down, share freely….maybe even get Sundaed and see where God might open up some doors.

What are some funny “other duties as assigned” stories you have?

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4 Comments

Filed under Church, Relationships, Youth

4 responses to “Other duties as assigned…

  1. s5casto

    Some good things there, Dave. The one thing I was always warned against though, is that very thing. It’s so vague, ambiguous, and un-measurable. Most times this isn’t a problem, especially in the church, but sometimes it can be. Let’s say Betty Bug-up-her-behind sits on the board and doesn’t like the way you style your hair. So she starts to look for ways to undermine you. She can tell you to do something, even something ridiculous and say “that’s covered under ‘other duties as assigned’.” Or maybe not even tell you – just bring up in a review things that you’re not doing. Because you have vagueness in your description, then you can’t necessarily say that what they bring up is out of scope of you duties, because your scope hasn’t been clearly laid out. Also, this gives the opportunity to be driven into the ground with being given such a large amount of responsibilities that you couldn’t realistically do them all, well.

    Most jobs aren’t going to have a clear cut description or it will be understood that there are unforeseen responsibilities that will come up. Also, no boss wants to hear “that’s not my job!” At the same time, it just allows for possible leverage out for someone with a grudge.

    Anyway, that’s just what was explained to me when I entered the ministry. I don’t do a good job whether the description is perfect or not 😉

  2. I totally understand where you are coming from Scott because if you are not careful people will take advantage of this. That is an unfortunate truth but I think one that is good to remember. There are many times throughout my years in youth ministry that the youth or myself have been asked to do things that did not match up with our purpose and I told them, “No”. Some people accepted this, others were annoyed that I or the youth wouldn’t do it since they asked. In this area I really try to keep in mind what our vision is….what the purpose of our ministry is and that helps me clarify if we should do something or not.

  3. My all-time favorite “as assigned” duty was at one of my final stops, where the pastor told me it was my job to make sure the trash cans in the bathrooms didn’t overflow on Sunday mornings. I smiled and nodded. And then of course got some middle school boys to do it…

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