Sunday, February 07, 2010

THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A YOUTH PASTOR

Today was a day that I don't think I could have done church any better. Truth is I'm our own worst critic and I don't say this often, but this Sunday was legit.

  • Student involvement was high.
  • Our hosts did a great job with the morning.
  • The room environment was fun and there were moments of laughter.
  • Several conversations I had this week with volunteers and students paid dividends.
  • Our team worked together well.
  • The music was so well done and inspiring and honest and encouraging.
  • We used relevant pieces from youth culture and solid conclusions from Scripture on the subject of dating.
  • I told someone that if I could have done baptisms afterwards, it would have been an A+
  • A freshman guy said to me after first service, "Hey, that was a great message." Another student sent me this text: "Great message today brother. Hit it dead on." Another one is asking me questions about the Bible Study I put in every outline so he can do it on his own. Are you kidding me? I never get feedback like that! Never! And certainly not from the teen guys in our group.
So, you'd think I'd be on cloud nine.

Yeah, that's the hardest thing about being a youth pastor in my opinion. 16 years of youth ministry and I'm not sure I ever feel like it's enough. I know too much about the bigger picture.
  • I heard about a parent who is concerned about "clique" and how her student doesn't want to come. No matter how long I do this job, this one still bugs me. Is there a church on the planet that does not have cliques? Never mind, don't answer that.
  • Another gal was upset by something this morning (maybe totally unrelated to encounter)- but she was in tears outside and I when I went to help, it was clear she didn't want to talk to me. I didn't have another female leader who knew her well to connect with her. That killed me.
  • I called out the same table of 3 freshmen guys for ignoring me and talking in my message 3x in first service.
  • A bunch of my small group guys were not there and don't seem to be concerned about it.
  • I had a another parent say to me their student doesn't need to hear a discussion on dating because their student is not allowed to date anyway. I don't think that was the point. This left me scratching my head for hours.
  • There are 130 students in 2 services, not nearly enough adults, and way too many faces I don't have names for, family stories, or the ability to tell you a bunch about.
  • For every student who is invested, owns the ministry, and can't get enough of it, there's 2 more who are on the fence and don't seem to really connect and 10 more who are not in any church anywhere.
It is so hard to rejoice in the good when you're aware of the not-so-good that is waiting for you on your desk just 2 buildings away.

1 comments:

henry 10:06 AM  

Great job, Brian! Sounds like you are making a world of difference in students lives.

I wish there was a way to transmit into parents minds that when your child doesn't want to come to church because it is clique-y it is not because it is clique-y. What they really mean is that I don't want to go because [multiple choice] a) *my* clique doesn't attend church there (or at all), b) the way my parents act differently at home and at church turns me off to even considering God, c) I'm struggling with issues and feel the youth pastor is singling me out when he speaks (Hello, ever heard of the Holy Spirit?!?), or d) all of the above.

My heart hurts with you about not having enough volunteers to connect with all your students (Matt. 9:36, John 4:35).

Thanks for all you do for students. Keep on keepin' on!

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San Diego, CA
Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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