We have good news for you. You can have a cool career and make a good living. No need to choose between loving your job and paying your mortgage. The following profile, part of the BlackEnterprise.com Cool Jobs series, offers a peek into the nuts and bolts, perks and salaries behind enjoyable careers.
Today, a special Cool Jobs series begins: Careers in Faith and Religion.
The Process: While many 29-year-olds are still trying to find their way, Pastor Travis Simons (@travis_simons) is very clear about his purpose. As a vibrant and passionate public speaker and counselor, Simons serves as the director of Brickhouse, a young adult ministry at Bishop T.D. Jakes‘ The Potter’s House in Dallas. Originally from Columbia, South Carolina and a cum laude graduate of Claflin University, Simons went on to earn a Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School. Today, he provides spiritual guidance and practical instruction to more than 200 young adults every week via church services, Bible study, and counseling sessions.
The Vision: As a preacher and teacher and an advocate for younger generations, Simons wholeheartedly believes that churches and ministries across every denomination and ethnicity must create a space for young adults. His focus is to provide programs, services, and resources that will prepare young people to successfully carry out their own purpose and professional passions. He says he’s committed his life to empowering young adults by “creating an environment and culture where they feel they have a voice in the church and in the community.”
The It Factor: He encourages young adults to learn as much as they can about themselves, their faith, and their profession during these early critical years. His top life mantra on success is simple: “If we’re going to be successful, we have to be faithful to where we’re called right now.” Simons doesn’t hesitate in affirming that branding is essential in ministry. “Ministers have to be known for their specialty,” he says. He’s is very clear that his brand is one of a young man who is passionate about his faith and has been called to see his peers reach beyond every limitation and soar.
The Defining Moment: Simons is a fourth-generation pastor who officially accepted his call to ministry at the age of 19. He says the most rewarding part of working in ministry is seeing young adults achieve their goals. “This year we had people graduate with master’s, get certifications and promotions, and find jobs after being out of work for a while,” he says. He is most proud of seeing peers “taking what you say to heart, believing it, and seeing the results of their faith.” Simons sees his calling as a profession that allows him to directly help people live better lives.
The Life: As a minister, husband, and father, Travis finds balance by spending as much time as possible with his wife Nina and daughter Sydney. He keeps active by regularly working out at the gym and playing basketball. Recognizing that the world is constantly innovating and changing, he believes in authoritative action. “We won’t have time to get ready,” he says. “We have to be ready!”
Check us out tomorrow for the next feature in our series on Careers in Faith and Religion series.