I can remember my first day as the official high school youth leader as if it were yesterday. At the time I was in Bible School in the inner city of Los Angeles and I was confident and ready to take on the world. I was ready to let loose and watch revival happen at the sound of the keys being played on the key board. I was ready to reap a harvest like no other.
I wish that I could say that this all actually happened but the truth is that it didn’t. My first day as a high school youth leader was composed of me preaching my guts out to 3 teenagers in a conference room with fold out chairs and a boom box as a worship team. By the way, these teens didn’t listen to a word that I said.
This was my beginning! This was my start! This was my dream coming to reality yet looking nothing like what I envisioned it to be. So many times in ministry youth pastors get this idea that they’re going to graduate Bible School and be launched into a Mega Church with 100’s of youth and the latest technology and crazy fat budget. The truth is that unless you’re the son/daughter of a Mega Church pastor…that ain’t going to happen, sorry.
Lets be realistic for a second. Maybe God does want to blow up your ministry and take you to great heights but before God can entrust you with that you’re going to have to prove faithful in what’s at hand. Paul said that it’s a requirement that we prove faithful with the trust that has been given to us.
I came to the realization early in my ministry journey that I was going to have to learn how to love one student before I could love many. I was going to have to be faithful with what God had given me before I could be faithful in the greater. This didn’t come easy but it eventually came, and we as youth pastors need to be careful that we don’t find ourselves comparing ourselves to others. When you do that you can find yourself competing and doing ministry out of selfish ambition rather than because of your love for God and your love for people. The truth is that you never know the story of another youth pastor and what they had to go through in order to get to where they’re at.
The book of Job says it best in Job 8:7 (NLT); Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be. Hold on to that truth for your ministry and know that in all things God is working everything out for your good.
To be continued….
keep it burning…