I have been in youth ministry since 1997. That’s when I first began to sense God’s call on my life. Over the ensuing years I have done my best to be faithful to that call. I have continually been on church staff. I have been in church situations where I was a good fit and in situations where I was a poor fit, but always I was a youth minister. If you asked me to label myself, “youth minister” would be the first of all possible labels. Until recently, I would have said that youth ministry is the only occupation where I could be happy. My identity crisis
I have recently found myself without a ministry home. And now, for the first time ever, I am not planning to return to a church staff position. So the title “youth minister” will not apply. I will still be actively involved as a volunteer in some youth ministry, hopefully teach a Sunday school class, but not in a staff position. This has caused a bit of an identity crisis for me, but after a lot of time spent in prayer, I believe that God has given me the freedom to pursue something different.
So what’s next? Over the past few years I have had some other ministry opportunities. I was an instructor at Carolina Bible College, and I enjoyed it immensely. In fact, I have been saying for quite some time that one day, when I am too old for youth ministry I hope to teach at the college or seminary level. Also, I have been working for a while to complete a certification. I am now a NAMB Certified Apologetics Instructor and I believe that have become quite good as a public speaker. I hope to use my gifting as a speaker to create a new ministry. If my new ministry is a success, it will substantially ease the pain of the identity crisis.
How you can help
In order to make this into a successful ministry, I am pretty much completely dependent on others. So what can you do? A few things.
You can start by visiting my website, jeremymathis.net. It’s new. (And it's not 100% finished, but it’s close.) I will accept any feedback you want to give me about the site. Also, there’s an ad on the blog page. I’d appreciate it if you clicked on that ad.
- If you have heard me give one of my apologetic talks and would be willing to write an endorsement for my site, that would be great. Just email it to me (2 paragraphs or less please)
- Most importantly, recommend me to your pastor. A good website is important, but the only way I will really have any success as a speaker is if people hear me speak, like what they hear, and tell others.
- If you are a pastor or someone with the ability to do so, please schedule me to come to your church. You don’t have to begin with an apologetics weekend. I can simply fill the pulpit for you sometime. I am willing to speak any time, anywhere, as long as my schedule allows it.
Thank you for reading this. I welcome your comments.