Thursday, June 17, 2010

Life is Busy

It feels like I have been on a fast rocket ride for the past few weeks. My "part time" job with Tubbs has taken off. The staff at NHC decided, with the elders approval, to take on part time jobs to help with the budget during this recession.

Along with Tubbs is my real job. We have recently moved Contagious to the beach for the summer. We love having youth group at the largest church swimming pool in the world. This summer we have Jacob, our summer intern from LU, on the teaming helping us minister to students. Jacob and I will be sharing the Contagious Bible study writing and teaching this summer. I hope this is a great learning experience for him.

We have Impact Outer Banks, a week long mission project, with several churches involved in a little more than a week from now. A few weeks after Impact is Student Life Camp. So lots of planning and work in a part time setting. I'm getting a taste of what the bi-vocational youth pastor goes through.

Time is flying! This summer my oldest turns 6!! Our twins are growing and are fully mobile which keeps momma and I hoppin. They are such a blast and love their big brother.

Learning to balance and prioritize all this is good for me. I look forward to the learning experience this summer. Have you noticed lately that life is busy?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sticking Around

There is the old statistic that youth pastors don't stick around for longer than 18 months. I think that statistic is pretty much shot and not sure of the new one but I know it is much longer. Some youth pastors still don't stick around for very long at one church. Sometimes due to the church, some churches like to chew up and spit out their staff, often that's due to a very small (around 7) amount of disgruntled and power hungry members. Sometimes youth pastors don't stick around because they jumped in with both feet without first checking the water. Probably should have asked the question, "Is this church a fit for me and God's will for me?" I have heard some quit because of the finances, not getting paid enough, yet they knew the pay package before signing on. (I have heard of a few who took the job without even asking about the pay. Crazy! You have to know what it takes to support your family). Some churches go through youth pastors like a kid goes through candy in a Pez dispenser. Some youth pastors go through churches like a kids goes through candy in a Pez dispenser.

One youth pastor friend told me "I think my calling is to start youth ministry and then leave to start another one." Problem was he didn't stay long enough to build a healthy structure for the ministry to keep ticking along after he left. It's easy to get addicted to the honeymoon period.

It's hard as a youth pastor to follow a youth pastor who only stuck it out for a couple of years. Just about the time the students start to click and open up and build that relationship the bond is cut off.

How long should a youth pastor stay at a church? As long as God wants him to stay.

This weekend I get to watch another batch of seniors graduate. For some of them I have been there only youth pastor, some have even had the same youth ministry team members serving them their entire middle and high school career.

While I know that God does move us sometimes to where he wants us I'm not sure that it is God's will for us to move every 18 months, 2 years, 4 or even 5 years. I know it's different in each case but I think there is something to be said for consistency and familiarity. I'm not the best youth pastor, I still have much to learn in working with students and their parents. But I feel like sticking around and watching kids go through middle then high school and then watch them graduate is a great thing in youth ministry. They won't remember the Bible studies but will remember the relationships with their youth ministry team.

How long will I be at Nags Head Church? I hope and pray until I retire. How long will I be a youth pastor? As long as I'm effective and can lead. I hope I get to see next fall's batch of 6th graders walk across the platform on their graduation day from high school. I'll be 50!! That's stinking old.

My Mission Trip Experience

I just returned last week from the island of Eleuthera.  On the island there is a Christian sports camp, Camp Bahamas.  Camp Bahamas is re...