My buddy Matt, the youth pastor at our Irvine Campus, and I just returned from helping launch Saddleback’s first international youth ministry in Manila.
The week was filled with hype, hope, and hard work around the launch. In fact, we were talking so much about “Week 1” that I finally felt compelled to remind them that we were launching a youth ministry, not just a one-time event. Brittany Hinzo, who helps me with our international stuff had delivered a beautiful little baby girl just a few days earlier so I used her as a launching pad.
“Remember how excited we all were to hear about Brittany’s new baby girl, Navy? Guys, anybody can have a baby! The reality is the birthing process is the easy part; anybody can do that. What’s tough is raising a baby! While I’m just as excited as you about the launch, and largely responsible for creating this excitement, I’m more concerned about week #2 and week #28 and week #84 than I am about week #1”
Youth workers are notorious for new ideas, big plans and fireworks. We love “having babies”! And we are often equally notorious for being terrible at raising them. We have programs we never should have birthed, we are neglecting the health of important things because we are excitedly birthing new things. etc.
We love to ask each other what we are doing that is new, fresh and exciting and rarely ask each other what things we have been doing faithfully for 5 or 6 years that are bearing good fruit.
So while I’m excited about the birth of Saddleback Student Ministry’s addition to the family in Manila, I realize that anybody can have a baby. Can we raise one? I hope so.