I asked 150 youth workers what they would be if they were not a youth worker… here’s what they said.

A few months ago I wrote to a huge number of vocational youth ministers and asked this:

‘Finish this sentence: If I wasn’t a youth minister then I’d be…’

The following list is the results. On the surface this seems like an odd, slightly fun, but irrelevant question. If you read carefully, however, it provides some interesting insight into the heart, attitudes, skill sets, passions, and varieties of people in youth ministry.

Some of these were what people used to do, some are what they would like to do – others or a little more existential! Here’s the answers…

  • A tree surgeon (that one was me)
  • Working in the copier/printer industry
  • Running a golf club
  • Living in a van down by the river!
  • Dead
  • A millionaire
  • A rollerblading coach
  • Much better rested
  • Selling dolphins on the black market
  • Police Officer
  • Social Worker
  • Open my own health food store/cafe
  • Working for the outdoor channel/have my own hunting show that ministers to men/dads and their families
  • A rodeo clown. Sometimes I feel like it’s nearly the same line of work!
  • Account manager
  • Funeral industry
  • Bored
  • I’d get my alternate certification and teach at a High School
  • Miserable, unless I knew God was leading me in a different direction
  • Teacher/Coach
  • A teacher or missionary
  • A dentist
  • Sane
  • Teaching high school English
  • Military
  • Rich probably, or at least have a comma in my bank account
  • A funeral director
  • A Pokémon Master!!!
  • Not answering this question
  • Indiana Jones
  • Social worker
  • Board game/coffee shop owner
  • Living somewhere else
  • Bartender
  • A chef
  • Financially stable
  • Server
  • Still discipling students
  • Well rested
  • Missing out
  • A coach or a teacher
  • A college professor
  • Coach
  • Accountant
  • Relaxed and full of free time…just kidding…kind of.
  • Coach
  • Missing my kids
  • School teacher or coach
  • Mobile sales
  • Happy
  • Real estate agent
  • Working in technology of some sort
  • Game show host
  • Web or graphic designer
  • Less tired
  • Financial advisor
  • Pursuing a job at Disney
  • Sad
  • In HR
  • Politician or Insurance Salesman
  • Owner of a gymnastics gym
  • Sane
  • Bummed
  • A voice over actor! I do a mean Mickey Mouse!
  • A volunteer youth worker, with some job that pays the bills and drives me crazy
  • Radio DJ
  • In Coaching or Teaching at a high school
  • Sane
  • Coach or teacher
  • Marketing guru
  • Teacher
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Social worker
  • Bus driver
  • Searching
  • Taco/Chicken wing Food Truck owner
  • Paying all my bills on time
  • Driving a new F150
  • POTUS or food critic on the Food Network
  • Working at one of my businesses
  • Working with people with cognitive disabilities
  • Full time counsellor
  • Small business owner. Specifically in coffee
  • Bored
  • Idk… can’t picture myself doing anything else honestly
  • A real pastor
  • A Jedi Master
  • Preacher
  • Working at a 5 star resort serving everyone
  • I would try to open up a live music venue/coffee shop. Coffee shop during the week, shows on the weekend!
  • Well rested
  • Either a small-time politician or an author
  • A Care Bear! Oh wait….only in youth ministry can you be a Care Bear
  • Running a comic/game store. Holding events for tabletop role playing. Interacting with youth that way
  • Lounge singer on a cruise line
  • Distilling bourbon
  • Surf bum
  • Actually do the whole “Jesus Thing” by being a fisherman and a carpenter that tells everyone to be nice to one another and fights for love and equality
  • History Teacher or a brewmaster
  • Fishing
  • Teacher
  • The epic movie trailer guy/ voice overs /audio book narrator
  • Either a HS Teacher or a Law Enforcement Officer
  • A coffee house owner
  • Teacher/coach and/or do bass fishing tourney’s full time
  • Photographer
  • Real estate investor
  • Unemployed
  • Photographer
  • Architect
  • On broadway
  • Well slept
  • Missing out on my dream job
  • A police officer, still working with youth and mentoring
  • Financially strapped
  • A family counsellor
  • Artist
  • IT Tech
  • Graphic designer, journalist, or writer
  • An Ancient Near Eastern Historian
  • Rich
  • Lumberjack
  • A cruise director
  • Public Address Announcer for a college or professional basketball team
  • A comedian
  • Rich
  • Without a career, because I put all my eggs into this basket
  • Board game store owner
  • Lost
  • Sane
  • Either high school teacher or an electrician
  • An ice-cream taster
  • Videographer/editor
  • Writer
  • Asleep
  • Venture capitalist
  • A youth volunteer…… or in politics
  • Not living in a one bedroom apartment with a 1996 car
  • Depressed. I love what I do
  • Landscape Designer
  • Cabinet Maker
  • Salesman
  • Able to afford date night regularly
  • Fuller brush salesman
  • More rested
  • Married
  • Strength and conditioning coach or mna fighter
  • Designing logos for companies all over the world! Or playing pro ball
  • Salesman
  • In jail

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