Thursday, February 16, 2006

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Q...er...Youth Pastor Dude

I'm an Intern Pastor, and a good chunk of my ministry falls into the category of youth ministry. I try to run away from the title Youth Pastor because of all the stereotypes I associate with that term. I don't even know what half of those stereotypes are, but I know they are there, and that I'm too good to associate myself with them. God, I'm such a sinner.

Anyway, as I've gotten into this full time youth ministry, I have experienced that all I am doing is taking everything I know, everything I've ever learned, everything I know my church has been through, all the trends that have existed in this church, and I try to synthesize them in a way that makes sense. I guess this means that all I'm doing is contextualizing. It feels that way. I don't know if I'm doing a very good job. Attendance has been less than stellar (a supposed indicator of health that I have always dismissed as unspiritual and stupid), and I don't spend time with individuals like I should. I spend far too much time at my desk, thinking, and far too little time with the youth, getting to know them and helping show them how to live in this world.

I have picked a youth ministry theme for this spring called Following God in a World That Doesn't Want You To. At first, I hesitated with this, because it's not like every single thing about our world and culture are trying to get us to deny God. That is to say, there is truth out there. God has not left us with nothing. But there are enough "principalities and powers" out there beating the tar out of us that we can say in honesty that the world doesn't want us to follow God. We feel it.

And I feel it. I feel a lot of pressure to not follow God. Often the source of the pressure does not label itself all that readily, though. It comes in a voice that convinces me that laziness is okay. It comes in a sudden urge to click where I'm not supposed to on this computer, an urge that I've resisted time and time again, though the urge itself does not relent. It comes in a feeling that I'm not doing a good job because our church isn't growing numerically right now...I mean, when did I buy into that one? - or have I always bought into it, but outwardly fought against it because I know somewhere in myself that I'm not supposed to think that way? It comes when I look at my ministry and think that I deserve better. Where does this crap come from?

A lot of places. As I sort them out in my life, we wrestle with the issues as a ministry. We learn how to discern all the voices. Truth. Error. In media. In our own minds. At school. At work. When we're with friends. When we're all alone. So something that is relevant in my life is also relevant in the youth ministry context, is relevant in the daily lives of the youth, and is relevant to you if you are also trying to follow God.

God give me the strength to follow. Give me the strength and confidence to minister because of your marvelous grace.

2 Comments:

At 8:41 AM EST , Blogger MrB said...

I'm glad you're moving on from xanga...

Xanga hands everything to you on a silver platter. Links go here, who you are here, picture here...

Blogger has some of those layouts. But for the most part, everybody tends to create or write their own layout. So, to add blogs, I chose to make it manual, and go into the template and add them in the html...slow and outdated method, but I prefer it...I really think about who's on my list and who's not.

but choose a new layout ;-)

I resonate with your thoughts on ministry in multiple ways.

 
At 8:43 AM EST , Blogger MrB said...

Couple other things...

Sign in, go to the settings tab, then the comments link and change it so anyone can comment (so if someone does not have a blogger account they can comment anyways) but make sure to change the "Show word verification" to "yes" so you don't get "blogspam".

You may also have the setting of getting emailed your comments

 

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