Here's the situation, as I see it:
Many, many, many ministers currently serving in student ministry positions are doing so as the first rung on the career ministry ladder.
I don't mean to say they are opportunists or "using" student ministry. They just don't have a choice, usually. I don't knock those guys (and gals), because, frankly, where else do you start, unless you plant a church right out of college/seminary? Our churches just don't tend to hire twenty-something pastors for congregational/adult ministry, and I don't knock them either; most aren't doing that for valid reasons.
But if you're called to vocational ministry, the entry level position is generally children's or student ministry.
It can be a double edged sword. Churches are stocked with student ministers who aren't particularly gifted or called to student ministry; student ministers have to pay their dues in positions they are neither called to nor gifted for.
I invite your thoughts on this subject.
But here's who I'd really like to hear from: guys who have answered the call to career student ministry and have no plans to "graduate" to adult ministry.
Give us a sense of your call, your feelings about the current culture of evangelical student ministry, the pros and cons of your place in it as you get older, etc.
I'm not trying to make a point in this post; I'd like to host a conversation.