Have you ever been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” When I was a kid, I was asked that all the time. My answer never was, “youth minister.” Believe it or not my top three picks were truck driver, artist, and vet. I never even thought about being a minister as a child. For me a minster was a stuffy old man in a suit who everybody had to listen to on Sunday and invited over for fried chicken after church. Nowhere in that picture did I see myself.
That all changed when I became part of a youth group. At the time our youth minster challenged us to read our Bibles. He also added that if we did then God would talk to us. I decided I was going to give it a try. I read my Bible everyday for months. I never heard God talk to me. That all changed for me on December 26, 1997. As I was lying in my bed I heard God whisper to my heart, “Felicia, I want you to work for Me.” I’ll be honest. That scared the snot out of me. It took me a while to understand that God had a plan for me. His plan was not for me to be a truck driver, an artist, or a vet. However, God did want me to drive a church van, create Bible studies, and work with a bunch of wild animals commonly referred to as teenagers.
Since accepting the call to be a minister I have learned to love God’s plan for me. I have also learned that all ministers are not the same. For example you are more likely to find me eating a hotdog at a high school softball or soccer game than fried chicken at the cafeteria after church. I’m more likely to be leading a crazy game on Sunday night then standing behind a pulpit. At most church events I’m the one adult at the youth or children’s table. Most of the time I’m the minister who stayed up all Friday night with a bunch of youth playing Guitar Hero at a lock-in.
I have learned that being a minister can be a lot of fun. However, it also has its more intense moments. As a youth minister, I spend time with youth and families in the hospital. I cry with youth when they experience the death of a loved one. I listen to their struggles at school, home, and work. Not only am I part of the happy moments of life I’m there for the heartbreak.
If I sound like the kind of minister you would like to get to know I invite you to come out to First Baptist of Mount Olive. I would love the opportunity to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus. Just look for the minister wearing the flip flops instead the of dress shoes.
Rev. Felicia Fox