Let’s face it. If you’re in ministry you either have or will drive the bus. Here are 6 ways getting a job as a substitute school bus driver will just enhance your ministry potential.
1. You’ll connect with students by driving them to and from school.
It’s time you got out the office and used your time more wisely! By working as a bus driver, you’ll spend way more time connecting with students. You’ll hear their conversation! You’ll see them interact! And you’ll learn about their world. What’s the latest pop culture reference? What are they excited or concerned about? What major events happened during the day? There’s not enough time to learn about this stuff on Sunday morning or Wednesday night. And reading about it only takes your time away from students. More interaction is what you need. Bus driving is the key.
2. You’ll connect with the school officials by working for the district.
Connecting with school officials can be a daunting challenge. You can always connect with students outside school hours but chances are you’ll never meet a school official outside of school. By becoming a bus driver you’ll learn more about the ins and outs of your schools employees and programs than was ever thought possible as the outsider. You’ll interact with staff. You’ll get to know them personally. You’ll become intimately acquainted with the school calendar. When’s the next dance or week of testing? This is good stuff to know and all too easy to miss.
3. You’ll receive valuable training and certification through your employer.
As a youth pastor we require training and certifications that are sometimes hard to come by. Some are just easy to overlook. When was the last time, for instance, you were trained in CPR and first aid? Others are expensive. My state, for instance, has made it difficult to obtain a bus drivers license. Gone are the days when you could walk into the DMV, read a book and take an exam. It now requires training by state certified instructors. Courses run around 2,000 dollars. There is another option though. School bus barns have these instructors by which they train their employees. By becoming a school bus driver you can earn a valuable commercial drivers license and stay on top of CPR and first aid certification.
4. You’ll leave your best time available for students by working bus hours.
Secondary jobs can be a pain when you’re in youth ministry. They tie you down and take up valuable hours when students are free from school. But that’s what so cool about working as a substitute school bus driver. You work both a little before and little after school. The heart of the day is free to plan your next staff meeting, event or message. You’re also free to plan events when students are available. Don’t forget you’re off when students are off – weekends, holidays, summer vacations. Finally as a substitute you’re free to choose those days that work best for you. If an emergency arises, you just tell them you won’t be available.
5. You’ll supplement your small ministry salary by a second part-time job.
We do what we do because we love it, not because of the money. But money is still important. Bills are bills and sometimes youth ministry salaries just don’t cut it. School bus driving is a great way to supplement your income without taking away from what you love doing best. The money could also help you to run a little farther.
6. You’ll raise needed youth funds through a second job.
And of course if money is not an issue for you or your church doesn’t want you moon lighting on a second job, the wages you earn could always make a much needed contribution to the youth ministry budget. Can I hear an “Amen!”
Matthew Miller is a youth pastor who drives bus and blogs at Logos Made Flesh. Be sure to check out his blog for youth ministry insights as well!