Called to Youth Ministry: Beth Morris

February 26th, 2014

I was excited to see Beth Morris at the NYWC not just to catch up (we've known each other for awhile) but it's great to know we have youth ministers who are called to youth ministry! With a little bit of persuasion I got her to agree to an interview.

When did you feel called to the ministry?

I received the call to ministry while I was still in college, but looking back I can see my preparation well before that. It wasn’t until after I graduated that I accepted my call and acted upon it.

Was there ever a time you questioned your call, and how was your faith in Christ strengthened?

There was a time that, thank you church politics, my job was discontinued. I had moved easily from one location to the next in smooth transitions, but this wasn’t the same. I had no place to land and thought that perhaps it was a sign that it was time to move away from youth ministry. I volunteered at a local church and played around in other areas for a few years before I got a phone call that encouraged me to consider a new position. The affirmations I received continue to be a blessing to me and reassurance that this is where God wants me.

How on earth did you get involved in youth ministry?

I began to attend a church and teach a sixth grade Sunday school class and found that (gasp) the church had no youth ministry. I grew up in a strong youth ministry and found that appalling. There were two youth at our first attempt to start a group. Luckily, things have improved from there!

What feeds your soul?

I love teaching. I love teaching Sunday school and especially Disciple Bible Study. Every class brings new insights and each reading provides layers of richness. Teaching is also great incentive for studying! Napping is good too [for the soul].

In addition to the Bible, what book has been most formative for your spiritual growth?

The Will of God by Leslie Weatherhead was the first book of “theology” I ever read and I go back to it periodically. It broadened my world view and challenged me to think on my own. I look for other books that do the same.

How do you balance ministry and family?

I have a great support system and especially a husband whose call to ministry includes helping me to act upon my call to ministry. The older I get, the easier it is to say NO. I encourage young youth workers to be brave enough to say that little word.

Who influenced or encouraged you to explore full-time ministry?

I either blame or thank (depending on the day) Dr. David Miller who asked me to teach that sixth grade Sunday school class and his wife JoAnn for encouraging me. I wish my youth director had suggested full time ministry to me in high school.

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