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?