If you’re looking for a funny story tonight…come back tomorrow and the next day because the last two in this series are ridiculously goofy-stupid. What WAS I thinking?!?
Tonight’s ministry blog is more along the lines of a cathartic confession.?
My most painful heart-spot in youth ministry so far? How I treated my interns and key volunteers when I was a younger, “hot-shot” youth pastor. Among the five churches I’ve served over 30 years, I served a couple of the largest youth ministries in my denom in FL and? had the big head to go with it. To quote Hermione Granger from H.P. movie fame, “What an idiot!”?
Some of you reading this know exactly what I’m talking about because you suffered through it. Just know this: if I could change the past, I would move heaven and earth to take back what I said or didn’t say, did or didn’t do. PLEASE know that I deeply regret those times. I didn’t value or respect you like I should have. I do now, believe me. I hope you will forgive me.?
Moral of the story: Ah, if I knew then what I know now…but that’s the rub. We don’t know “then” what we know “now” unless we’re smart enough to learn from someone older and wiser. Cool young youth guy/chick youth pastor, you’re not “all that and a candy bar.” If you’re wondering if you qualify, then you probably do just a little.?
Jesus was the ONLY one who could claim “hot shot” pastor bragging rights and yet He never did. He let His team lead while He served. Sure He took His turn at teaching, but He also sent His volunteers out to share the good news. Jesus wasn’t above getting food ready for the team. He treated His interns with respect and love, empowering them for greatness. He would do wash prep work so His people could sit and relax after a long ministry day.? ? ?
Treat your people like gold. Affirm them and do it often. Surprise them by highlighting their gifts and talents. Allow them to shine and share their version of The Story. You’re not the only one who can preach and teach. Maybe it’s your turn to do the dishes or cook. Equip and empower. The occasional gifts or special dinners in their honor don’t hurt, either.?
If you’re worried that accomplishing the above will take too much time away from “real” ministry to your kids, don’t. Your students will learn a WAY greater lesson about the love of Jesus by watching how you love your “disciples.”?
Trust me on this one, young Skywalker.