1. Mowing grass – My first job ever. Got to mow a local doctor’s office in junior high for a whopping $50 a week. To a 13 year-old in 1994, $50 a week was like your own personal oil field. The best part of this job was getting to work with my dad. This was an experience that I shared with dad that was just ours (not something my two older brothers did). Lesson learned: Parents should have one unique experience they share with each child.
2. Heavenly Ham – Not the most glamorous job in the world. Think brooms, mops, and sugary glaze hardened on dishes like granite. All for minimum wage! The good news: Got to use a cash register. The bad news: Did NOT get to use the blow torch (for glazing hams). But at 16 years old I learned that a dusty retail area or a pint of expired chicken salad is a big deal. Lesson learned: Exellence in the small things.
3. Camp Counselor- After I graduated high school I got to work at some big Christian camps for junior & high school kids. Couple thousand kids a week came through the camp. It was at the beach. Probably went through 9 tubes of hair gel that summer. I got to do lots of cool things like selling Christian t-shirts and loading sound equipment (tongue meet cheek). But the best thing was that my leader that summer introduced me to theology and a guy named John Piper who I later found out is kind of a big deal. Lesson learned: How you feel about God isn’t near as important as how He feels about you.
4. LifeWay Christian Store – Started this job in college right in the middle of the Prayer of Jabez craze. Remember POJ? It was a tiny little book that the Christian marketing world went nuts over! Think POJ t-shirts. POJ neckties. POJ ceramic teapots. POJ pooper scoopers. It was crazy. Amidst all that Jabez chaos, I had a phenomenal boss, Ben. He modeled exactly what a Christian leader should look like. Lesson learned: Good business leaders are humble and caring, yet they demand excellence from their team.
5. Mecretary – For 2 months after graduating college, I was a mecretary (male+secretary=mecretary). Lots of fun stuff: laminating things, unjamming printers, surfing Facebook all day. This is a great job unless you are a young ambitious male, in which case it is like smashing yourself in the face with a waffle iron. Nonetheless, I learned a ton. Lesson learned: Find a better job. :)