For a while, my sister-in-law believed that I was cursed.
And I began to fear that she was right.
But six times, I went home from the barbershop with a complete hack job for a haircut.
It got so bad that my family would try and talk me out of getting a haircut before any major youth event, for fear I’d have to wear a hat while preaching in the sanctuary.
I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me, especially after one barber commented on the unique shape of my head. Is my strange shaped head really causing these bad haircuts? I wondered.
I began to blame the barbers. “My head!? Look at your head!”
But, at my wits end, I began to believe that maybe my sister-in-law was right. Someone must have hexed me with the unthinkable torment of The Haircut Curse.
Then, epiphany. The answer finally became clear to me. Neither the barbers nor my funny shaped head were to blame. I knew how to rid myself of this awful blight. There were two simple factors underlying the demise of my do:
First, communication. I thought I wanted a faux-hawk. What I really wanted a normal haircut with my hair left a little longer on top, so that I could pretend to be cool to the youth without looking like a complete wanna-be. But each time I mentioned faux-hawk it would put an image in the barber’s mind that was contrary to the picture in my mind. To make matters worse, I often went to the barbershop with a hat on, so they had no point of reference for the hairstyle that I desired. I wasn’t clearly communicating my vision of the perfect hairstyle to the barbers.
Second, commitment. I kept switching barbers after every bad haircut. This seemed like the logical thing to do, but, really, it was causing more grief. Every time I changed barbers, I had to start the communication process all over again with a brand new person only hoping it would turn out better. Without committing to one barber and allowing him to make a mistake, I limited the opportunity for improvement, and, besides that, my communication problem went with me wherever I went.
Today, much to my delight, I am thankful to say that the curse has lost its power. I have committed to a local barber and am looking good. Well, as good-looking as youth pastor can look trying to be cool without being too cool.
Which leads me to share another discovery.
Maybe youth pastors are not really cursed to only serve for 3.1 years.
Maybe the high turnover rate in youth ministry is not because of the deficient character of youth pastors or ungrateful youth, parents, and pastors.
Maybe it’s a communication and commitment issue.
Maybe if we as youth pastors communicate our hearts even more clearly to our pastor, parents, youth team, and youth, we will avoid confusion and unwanted results.
Maybe if we commit to serve in one location and give pastors, parents, volunteers, and youth the chance to make a few mistakes before we jet, we’ll find that God can work miracles and souls can grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
I guess it’s up to us to decide.
Are we cursed or committed?