Why Youth Pastors Shouldn’t Rule the World Reason #72.

We rarely proofread.  We should.  Spell-check cannot be relied upon to catch every little thing.  Office assistants aren’t always readily

available during the hours most of us do our best work (11:00 PM – 3:00 AM).  We make mistakes.

I will confess.  Over the years as a youth pastor, I have thrown more than one newsletter article, web post, or camp packet out there without proofreading it first.  You would think that one would ‘learn his lesson’ after the camp dates were incorrect, the newsletter article said ‘if’ instead of ‘is’ (which can significantly change the flow of a sentence), and the web-post tagged a friend from high school who had recently had a sex-change instead of the junior high boy who gave his life to Christ that week…..

…but one did not.  And in keeping with my new found love for fallibility, you’re about to hear it in all its pornographic glory.

A few years ago, my wife and I were appearing on a youth ministry video podcast.  It was exciting and a great honor!  We wanted our faith family and our friends to share in that excitement.  We had been posting about it on Facebook, tweeting on the Twitter, and sending out information in our church newsletter.  As we were about to leave our hotel room, the lead pastor of my church called and asked if I would send out a virtual postcard to our church members letting them know where to log on to see the show, and make it appear as though it came from him.  (because we all know people don’t read stuff from the youth pastor)

I immediately sat down and typed out a well-written, attractive virtual postcard, complete with web-link directly to the show…and signed the pastor’s name to it.

We rushed out the door and headed for the studio.  About 10 minutes later, my cell phone started going off like crazy – texts, phone calls….for a minute, I thought I saw smoke signals coming from the screen.  Everyone was in a panic about my carefully crafted postcard.

I was in a hurry – so I hadn’t proofread.  The link was mis-spelled.  So the ‘insta-jump’ I had provided for my church to get directly to the podcast was actually directing them to a site advertising pornographic web domain names……and it appeared as though the senior pastor had sent it!  (It might have been expected if the youth pastor had sent it!)

Mistakes happen.  We’re fallible.  As much as I try to manage a persona of perfection….everyone knows.

So I sent out a retraction – including the REAL link – and an apology on behalf of the pastor….

…and I started proof-reading.  Check your work.  It matters.

Author: Darren Sutton

I've been in student ministry nearly 30 years…which generally just confirms how much I still don't know. Some days I'm the pizza-eating, over-responding, teaching-on-the-fly, desperate-for-volunteers, frustrated-with-co-workers youth leader that we all are. And sometimes…I knock it out of the park. I'm everywhere on social media that you are!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: