On Thursday afternoon of last week I got a phone call asking if I would be willing to speak in our adult services the upcoming weekend due to Pastor Rick having suffered an eye injury. The conversation went almost exactly like this:
voice on phone: Kurt, Pastor Rick is hoping you can teach this weekend…he is still in quite a bit of pain.
Kurt: Ummm….ummmm….sure. I would be happy to. Is there something specific for me to speak on?
Voice on phone: No….do you have something in your file you can use on short notice?
Kurt: Ummm….ummmm….I have only taught adults three times in my life so my file is pretty thin.
Voice on phone: Okay. Thanks a ton for being willing to help out…you will do a great job.
I love my Pastor, I love my church, I love that they felt comfortable making a last minute request, and I loved the opportunity to speak to the adult congregation at our church. Here are a few observations that struck me.
– Adults are a pretty easy audience. The pressure I felt was purely one of what I would call “content creation”….can’t give adults the same level of content you can give JH students….BUT adults are an easy audience! They all want to be there, they don’t send text messages or get up in large clumps to use the restroom. They don’t flick the ears of the kid in front of them and they don’t pass gas loud enough for the entire room to hear.
– Despite that….they really are just big teenagers. They have similar insecurities, similar struggles and similar hurts…..they are just packaged a little differently.
– Many of them have no clue about our youth ministry. I was shocked at how many parents introduced themselves to me saying things like, “we had no idea the youth ministry was in such capable hands” or, “we have never been down to the youth area…what else is going on for my teenager” etc. This was an eye opener for me and a reminder that no youth pastor can
assume parents are as informed, connected, in the loop etc as we often think.
– I am glad to be a junior high pastor! In 14 years at Saddleback, I have spoken in the adult services two times. I would certainly welcome the opportunity again, but last weekend reminded me that my giftedness and my calling (funny how those two things go together) revolves around ministry to young teens…and I couldn’t be happier!