You might be a youth worker's husband if...

For years, my husband and I have joked he should crash one of the workshops offered for youth worker's wives that are held at various youth ministry conferences we've attended. We've always said this partly in jest, but partly in truth, wishing and longing for a community that better understands our somewhat nontraditional roles in the church world.

In light of this, last week when I came across the post, “You might be a youth minister's wife” in my blog roll, I passed it along to my husband, knowing it would prompt some good conversation between us.

Indeed it did.

It also resulted in this list, crafted by my husband, Doug:

You might be a youth worker's husband if...

1. You've ever celebrated your anniversary on Taco Tuesday.

2. You negotiate additional time off over pay raises so you can go on the mission trip and still take a vacation.

3.You go back to work from the mission trip so you can rest.

4. You spend at least one week of your vacation sleeping 40 yards away from your wife.

5. All your weekend plans start on Friday night and end on Saturday night.

6. You've had to leave a meeting early because it's youth group night.

7. You spend your commutes reading small group packets.

8. Every time you see and 15-passenger van, you get a compulsion to check tire pressure.

9. You've been marketed as a "2 for 1" deal.

10. You've introduced yourself as the youth pastor's wife.

11. You've carried a sleeper sofa five blocks to the church.

12. You've ever cried your way out of a speeding ticket on the way home from a youth board meeting.

13. Everyone assumes you're the one in charge when you walk together into a room of other youth workers.

14. You've learned the answer to every question is "You should ask my wife, she's leading the trip".

15.You've been mistaken for a hired bus driver.

16. You've had to explain that a youth "director" has all the responsibilities of a youth pastor, but is just payed less.

17. You've ever sat in the the back of an annual meeting wondering if your wife was going to leave the room with a job.

18. Your first theological question about any church is their stance on women in ministry.

19. You've interviewed someone for a job knowing you can't ask if they're married only to attend your wife's job interview the next day.

20. You've stayed up late into the night reassuring your wife this really is her calling and woken up the next day knowing you're both blessed that it is.


Joel Snyder

Jenn, Are you and your husband coming to SYMC? If so, hopefully we can Talk about some of these things at the connect group designed just for him/us. The connect group is called "Married to a Youth Pastor, Husbands."

Posted by Joel Snyder, over 10 years ago

Ron Edwards

Wow! That is basically my life and I wouldn't change it for anything. We have been so blessed to be around great youth workers, volunteers, and jr. highers 24/7. I'm not sure if I need to go to a pastor's husbands retreat every year, but going to a ball game with some other husbands like me... would be fun.

Posted by Ron Edwards, over 10 years ago

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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