Can you be a youth pastor & a mom?

Jen Bradbury
Apr 02 · 5 min read

32 Weeks

I'm at the stage of pregnancy where people no longer have to wonder whether or not I'm pregnant. At 32 weeks, this pregnancy is obvious. In fact, my new entertainment is watching my stomach move as the baby shifts.

As my pregnancy has grown more obvious, so, too, have people's questions. Recently, someone asked me rather incredulously, “How are you going to manage youth ministry and a baby?!?”

The question left me speechless.

I mean, I suppose I'll manage it in the same working women have for decades: With a lot of help.

I'll admit, we don't yet have the logistics figured out.

There might be weeks when the baby comes to youth group with us and simply gets passed from teenager to teenager. Given their excitement throughout this pregnancy, I can't imagine my teens will object to that.

At our recent baby shower, several of our congregation's women also reminded me, “You know, you can just pass her around on Sunday mornings while you're with the kids, right?” I said I hope they were serious because that's exactly what we plan on doing.

My parents have offered to babysit on Tuesdays – the day my colleagues and I meet as a staff.

There might be days when my daughter resides in my office – sleeping, screaming, and playing in her pack and play.

I'm assuming both sets of grandparents will be willing (or perhaps fighting over) who gets to watch her during overnight and week-long events. Or perhaps we'll opt to have my husband stay home with our daughter instead of participating in mission trips for a while.

Clearly, we don't have it figured out... But we do have a village – a loving community who I trust will help us figure it out. And for that, I'm insanely grateful. I know not everyone has the kind of support we do.

In a nutshell, that's what I told the person who asked, who then responded with a look that said, “You have no idea what you're getting into.”

And that's true. As first time parents, we don't.

To be sure, I know life is about to change – something I'm ready and excited for. I also know that I'm no less called to youth ministry NOW than I was 9 months ago, before I was pregnant.

God's call on my life remains. And that calls remains strong.

What's more, that call is expanding to include both motherhood and ministry – twin callings that I don't for a second believe have to be mutually exclusive.

So yes, there's a lot I don't know about what life will look like two months from now.

Even so, what I do know is this.  

In two months, I'll be a mom. But I'll still be a youth pastor.