February 21, 2003, 3:38 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

I think I’m one of the worst 5% of youth pastors out there. No really, I am – I really suck at this stuff. I’m not into programs, I have an utter hatred for lock-ins, I’m not enough of a cheerleader, and I don’t babysit very well. On the other hand, I fancy myself as a pretty darn good youth pastor in some other senses – I don’t let my students get away with lazy thinking, I’m not into programs, and I’d rather focus my time on working with the parents and volunteers than the students. Part of why I’m lousy at this thing is that in addition to being the youth pastor, I’m also responsible for children’s ministry, adult small groups, Sunday Bible study, and office administration oversight. I doubt I’d be so inadequate if I could actually spend some time with the students.

All of that as a preface to the rest of my day. I’m going on a quickie overnight campout with the high schoolers tonight. Usually I am marginally energized by these things at best, but I’m actually looking forward to this one. Mostly because there’s no hype, nothing to rah-rah about. It’s just us camping close to home for the heck of it. Yeah, sure, I’ll do some teaching and challenge them and stuff, but we’re mostly just hanging out. When it comes right down to it, culturally they are the people I relate most to in our church – musical interests (except for the boy bands), clothing, pop culture stuff.

I’ve also noticed how much more I’ve enjoyed these kids since coming to a realization that I don’t have much time left with them. By summer I’ll probably be out of their lives for the most part, and I’ve become more aware of the opportunity I have to help them see through the consumeristic crap of the church, and help them see Jesus for who he is, and help them get a vision for living the kingdom life genuinely. I mostly dislike the notion of youth ministry, but in moments like these, I’m glad I get to be a part of some kids’ lives.

As a finishing thought to all of this, I’ve been grateful to read Mark Riddle’s blog. He thinks like I do (or I think like he does . . . not sure which, but I’m willing to give him the credit). Oh, and he makes me laugh too.


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