Story - Peyton P. - as told to Holly Poole.
Peyton Plaisance is an 18 year-old entering into full-time ministry immediately after graduating high-school. However, his journey towards life-long ministry started well before this year.
He says, “I’ve always found that whatever I was doing, like sports, to be un-satisfying. I grew up in a Christian home, and I knew that there was more to life than earthly activities, but I never really thought about the ministry until a mentor of mine told me, casually, while we were just hanging out, that I was a worship leader. It was a prophetic word that led to my entire future. He sent me home with his guitar and that was what really launched me into my destiny in the ministry. This led to more than just worship, but speaking and being a leader in my youth group. I know that I will never be satisfied with a 9 to 5 job. I have chosen to do ministry at the age of 18, joining the staff at my church. I still ask, what am I doing with my life? But, I know that God has called me to do great things and so I just keep pursuing him and trust that he’ll work it all out.”
It’s apparent that Peyton is not following the standard expectations for a classic American teenager, choosing worship planning and counseling youth over college classes and the typical part-time job. “I could have gotten a regular part-time job and make decent money but I’d rather do what I’m doing even though I’m not making as much money—it’s all worth the experience.”
Obviously, the un-conventional thing to do for people this age is to not go to college. As expected, breaking social norms comes with both good and bad results. Of course, not everyone understands or supports the idea of going into the ministry after high-school rather than pursuing a college degree or some means of consistent income. I asked Peyton how he would encourage other young people who feel that they have a similar call on their life. Really, how important is it that you have a college degree if you’re called to life-long ministry, why not start now? Peyton says, “when you have a word from God, follow it. You just have to take a leap of faith and trust that God is gonna get you across.”
I actually attended high-school with Peyton and observed how his life was significantly different from those of our peers. While the majority of us were primarily concerned with football games and acceptance letters, Peyton was pursuing God and leading others spiritually. This kind of “set-apartness” that oftentimes youth leaders like to talk about, potentially making this phrase a cliche, is truly impactful and not merely a high-school-student-aimed sermon title. I saw others being greatly impacted by his worship and by his testimony. For many students at our high-school, a life of ministry was meant for adults, if they chose it at all. Peyton, along with other students, really revolutionized the spiritual aspect of our christian private school by being examples of young people who decided that life-long ministry is not only confined to a limited group of people or by their age. Those few that are “set-apart,” are the ones that really make a difference.
Of course, you can always be in full-time ministry wherever you are; whether that be in college, in high-school, in your workplace or in your home. The act of ministering to others is a call that we all have, but looks different for each and every one of us. For Peyton, it was surrendering a typical teenage life-style to be a full-time worship leader and minister, so that his everyday life is inseparable from ministry; for many others, it is incorporating the work of the ministry into their lives in varied and specific ways that God has ordained. In other words, we don’t all have to be worship leaders or preachers to live a life of ministry. Regardless of occupation or location, you were put there by God for His purpose. We are all capable and called to a life of “set-apartness.”