According to an article in the Associated Baptist Press, college students aspiring to ministry not only have an aversion to the local church, but they also have a preference against pastoral ministry in particular. For this reason, many aspiring ministers opt for positions with less leadership responsibility within the church:
In part, students have observed pastors dealing with conflict and pressure, and they want no part of it, Summers said. In contrast, they see youth ministers in shorts and T-shirts having a good time with teenagers.
“They don’t see any ‘fun factor’ in being a pastor,” he said.
On a practical level, some students also see financial incentives to enter youth ministry rather than the pastorate. They are acquainted with youth ministers who immediately move from college to multi-staff churches where they enjoy financial security greater than pastors who may graduate from seminary and start their ministry in a small congregation, Hancock said.
There is so much that could be written in response to this seriously deficient view of Christian ministry. Perhaps the most obvious thing to say is that no one should be going into the ministry because of a “fun factor” (not even youth ministers!). Perhaps equally as obvious is the fact that the abundance or lack of “financial incentives” should have no bearing on a person’s discernment of a call to ministry. Money or no money, if the Lord has called or gifted a person for ministry, then the only proper response is to fulfill that ministry.
2 Corinthians 2:17 “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
2 Timothy 4:5 “But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
(HT: Sam Hodges)