Sheldon Muller: Youth and Worship Pastor
Working for a church doesn’t mean you can never have fun or that you sit reading your Bible all day. Here’s a snippet into the life of a youth and worship pastor to give you an idea of what it’s really like.
Not many people grow up dreaming about becoming a pastor. The desire usually develops once you’ve reached a point in your life and you just know, now is the time to follow where God is leading you. I spoke to Sheldon Muller, a youth and worship pastor from the Father’s House Christian Fellowship. He was in the situation where he no longer had the choice but to follow. Not only is he a full time youth pastor, worship pastor and student, he also has his own band called Park Motel! Never let anyone tell you that being a youth pastor is a boring job or that it hinders your dreams and passions.
I can imagine that most days hold new endeavors with your work and band, but what does a typical day look like?
|Time of Day||Activity||Comments|
|7:00||Wake up and get ready for the day||Ponder pray-fully over the day|
|8:30 – 10:00||Arrive at church, staff meeting|
|10:00-11:00||Prayer meeting||Lead worship and pray.|
|11:00 – 12:00||Pastoral meetings||They’re cool, I’m always doing stupid stuff|
|12:00 – 13:00||Correspondence. More communication.|
|13:00-14:00||I have Lunch with Sheri-Anne||That’s my wife. Gourmet meals|
|14:00-17:00||Admin and devotionals||Reading a book. Research. Prep work. Depending on the week.|
|Unless something pastoral comes up. Or I’ll focus on the meeting.|
|17:00 – 18:00||Supper time. House work. Family time.||Another gourmet meal|
|18:00||Prep for meetings. If the band is playing – Run through songs, go to venue and do soundcheck, play!||We usually just sit for an hour and just hang around with the people before our performance if we have a gig.|
|23:30||Leave the gig around this time.||Had such a kiff time!|
What do you enjoy MOST about your job?
I enjoy people, I like teaching and helping people.
What do you enjoy LEAST about your job?
Administration (said with no hesitation or doubt).
Is there a qualification required to perform this job?
There should be (laughs). Probably the biggest qualification is that you’re called to it. Before studies. A lot of people have the theological degree but don’t have a calling. Do you suit it with your gifts and personalities? And your passion (Jesus). The next thing would be a theological qualification.
So what did you study then?
I actually studied Tourism and Hospitality Management. I’m in the process of finishing my BTheology through SATS.
Did the church provide you with any training?
Yes, the church put me through various courses for youth and worship training.
What type of person would be well suited to this job?
Someone who loves Jesus. And someone who loves people. If you have the passion it’ll work out.
How long have you been in this position and how did you get there?
I’ve been a youth pastor for going on 13 years. We were in a church in Oudtshoorn, in a Vine-yard Church and the head, Pastor Mitchell, recommended us (my wife and I) to the senior pas-tor, Richard, at Tygerberg Vineyard Christian Fellowship, now the Father’s House. We were interviewed and Sheri and I got the job as youth pastors.
What would your advice be for someone interested in working in a church?
Try not to become a youth pastor until the passion is so strong that you have to do it. The reason is that to be a youth and a worship pastor takes a lot out of you psychologically and emotionally. If you aren’t fully committed to loving God first and helping others, you’ll very quickly get burnt out and tired. People need a lot of help. If you don’t know how to cope with those things emotionally, being a pastor could prove to be draining. Only do it when the passion within you is so strong that you know it’s God telling you to do it.
For someone wanting to start a band – don’t do it for any other reason than you really love music. Some guys like the image, they can get a lot of girls. They think money and fame come. Those things can burn out quickly. They shouldn’t be motivating factors. Passion should be.
What research could people do who are interested? Or who could they talk to?
Church – Look for a church with a ministry for young people. I will always recommend checking out Bethel’s website and Vineyard’s music.
What is a typical starting salary in this career field?
Worship: R 5 000/ R6 000 depends on the type and size of church.
Youth: R 5 000 / R6 000
Band: very little. It’s about how well you manage your band. It’s about connections and timing. Be smart about the right market.
(EduConnect 2cents: This isn’t something you do for the money, it’s about calling and trusting that God will look after you.)
Any quirky advice for scholars looking to pursue a career in your field?
Be willing to do anything. Be willing to be stupid and have lots of fun. Fun is key. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Not many people actually pursue a career in a church which is what makes this so interesting. Working in a church doesn’t make you “holier-than-thou.” You can still have fun. Maybe even play with your band in a club. Check out Park Motel’s Facebook page to see what Sheldon does when he’s not driving his colleagues at church crazy.