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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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A call for respect

Youth ministers report confidence, urgency

As a high-powered attorney with a prestigious Chicago law firm, Kristi Gleim was easily making an impressive income and earning a good reputation. She also felt unfulfilled. Gleim wanted to do youth ministry.

To the surprise of her firm and clients, Gleim walked away from the legal profession. She is now youth minister of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Streator, Ill.

Gleim is just one of 500 lay leaders to pass through Wartburg Seminary's Center for Youth Ministries, Dubuque, Iowa, in the past eight years. She and those like her bring energy, commitment, passion and deep faith to ministry with the next generation. And their commitment grows out of a deep sense of call--one that is often sacrificial. They have left jobs as contractors, plumbers, teachers, nurses and administrators to enter the world of the young with the good news of Christ. They represent a cross-section of people, including college graduates, retirees and many who make a new vocational choice in midlife.


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