Well here’s to you Mr. Youth Pastor! Working on less than minimum wage! Staying up all night at an overnighter just so Teens would come to know Christ! Catching so much grief from your congregation over this or that! Setting aside much needed family time to care for the teen girl who just got dumped! This Diet Soda is for you! (Raises pop can in a salute)
Hopefully you’re still with me! Thought I’d give you some encouragement and a much needed pat on the back. That can be so lacking in our calling sometimes. But here is something else that stood out to me this past week. Sometimes we run on empty! I just got back from a youth ministers conference in Louisville, KY. I had the privilege of hearing some giants in youth ministry talk. Dr. Jim Burns, Wayne Rice, Walt Mueller, and Mark DeVries were all there and I had the pleasure of hearing all of them address a variety of youth ministry topics. But more importantly I was able to get away.
The campus of the Seminary I was at was gorgeous. I was able to steal away some times and just relax, dig into the Word, pray, and meditate. Wonderful campus and wonderful time. God really spoke to me there too. Help me come to terms with some things going on in my ministry and my life. However one thing stood out above all else. I have to stay thirsty!
I joke with my Dad about looking like the Dos Equis guy. You know the guy that ends every commercial with “Stay Thirsty My Friends.” No truer of a statement could ever be said of youth ministers. We must stay thirsty for God! I know we go through seasons were we are a little more connected than others. What I’m saying is we must never let our ministry or our involvement in a church take center stage over God in our lives. I struggle with this. My personality is wired in a way were it pains me not to please people. I get upset when someone doesn’t like me or is mad at me. So I cannot say no to things. Often I let my commitments to my church over ride my need to get closer to God. Case in point. I played drums in our morning worship. I also can run a sound board. So when everyone in our sound department left our church, they instantly turned their eyes on me. I said ok without ever saying ok! So for about a month or so I would play drums, stop run to the back to play the choir tape, run back up to play some more, run back to the back to play the instrumental for the offering, run back…you get the picture. I was so exhausted from enabling others to have a worshipful experience that I neglected worshiping God myself. Even after service was over. I recently took care of that situation and after recommitting to the spiritual disciplines a little more (thanks Dr. McDonald!) I can say I find myself way better spiritually than in the past.
So to wrap up make sure you don’t let you earthly commitments override your spiritual commitment to God! Always seek God, have a passion to know Him more and let him guide your life! “Stay Thirsty My Friends!” and just keep swimming!
PS: In honor of “No Shave November” as my youth call it I’m letting my beard grow out. Who knows maybe by the end of the month my dad can say I look like the Dos Equis Guy!