Youth Ministry Mistake/ Confession #2 “I do not want to be thought of as just as the youth pastor”
Stink. This one is hard for me to confess. The root of this goes back to what we spoke about in the last entry. I am concerned about becoming something great instead of just wanting God to work greatly in and through my life. Why do I desire to be anymore then I am.. is not child of God, redeemed, friend of God enough?
Early on in the life of our church I told the pastor “I do not want to be thought of as just the youth pastor”. It made perfect sense to me at the time. Most of the other youth pastors I knew referred them selves as the assistant pastor or some other title, but hardly ever simply as “youth pastor”. When you ask them what they did they would mention youth work as one of the many things they were involved in. Since I was at the church from the ground level, had many responsibilities, and opportunities in several areas of leadership in the church I only thought it made since i would want to follow suit and say “just a youth pastor”.
First of all, I hate that I said those words and hate even more that I thought them. The work of the church is to glorify God through reaching the world with the Gospel. We do this through evangelizing the lost, establishing believers, equipping the saints, and exporting ultra potable disciple makers. I can not think of a more exciting or strategic place to be in that process then as a youth pastor. The youth are not a liability they are the greatest resource a church has.
Secondly, the word “pastor” after the word youth is not just a filler. For some reason, we are often led to believe that the word pastor for the lead pastor means shepherd, trainer, coach. We take the same word “pastor” behind youth and think it means buddy, driver, and sports director. I did not want to be thought of as “just a youth pastor” because most of them I had seen I made that into something I could not imagine being. I wanted to be a Bible teacher not a ping pong table setter upper.
I can not believe I did not want to be thought of some one who is “just” the pastor (shepherd ) of the youth (the present and future of any good church). It was grossly prideful and an outstanding misunderstanding of what God can do through the life of a teenager. Okay, I said it. I confessed… can we move on now. I am a youth pastor I am very busy.