by Paul Brandes, originally posted on Made to Flourish.

This is the second post in a new series about the importance of integrating faith and work conversations within our youth ministries and homes, including the why and how of talking to our kids about vocation and the ways it relates to our faith. If you missed the introduction, you can read it here and the first post is available here.

I first began seriously considering vocational ministry when I was a junior in high school. I began to sense a calling to student ministry, in part because of the positive influence of both my middle and high school pastors. “I want to do for others what Brandon and Dan did for me,” I thought. By the beginning of my senior year, I was convinced of the path that lay ahead: college at a Christian institution to study the Bible, seminary training, and then the pastorate. Only one pesky detail remained before my “perfect plan:” one more year of high school.

The sad truth, as I reflect upon it now, is that my “Sunday to Monday gap” significantly widened upon my decision to pursue pastoral ministry. By “Sunday to Monday gap,” I mean my faith convictions professed on Sunday did not inform my decision about my Monday work. In other words, I was perpetuating what is far too common in the church: the disconnect between my faith and my work, which at the time consisted of history and English classes. As a consequence, I was less motivated during my senior year than before. I developed a dangerous attitude toward my education, thinking “What will I need calculus for when I’m serving God as a youth pastor?” I thought I was honoring God by answering a call to serve him as a pastor, but in the interim, I dishonored God by ignoring my call to serve him as a student.

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