….or so I was told this weekend by my dear friend and young youth pastor. While I know that most people believe this statement to be true of me – I was completely offended on behalf of my brethren vets! After clarifying his statement – I realized it was a badge of honor he was pinning to my chest!
Veteran YPs are full of….experience. We’ve lived it – and undoubtedly have at least three dozen T-shirts to show for it. Not only are we in the trenches – in a lot of cases, we dug those trenches ourselves. We’ve walked more than a mile in those shoes – and some of those miles we probably ran…barefooted….in the snow….uphill both ways.
Veteran YPs are full of….mistakes. We haven’t always gotten it right – and we still don’t. Periodically we lose receipts….or kids on a mountain during summer camp. Sometimes we plan a really spiritual event that flops…or our own retreat-version of UFC that, while lacking in depth and holiness, goes down in history as the best youth ministry event ever. Occasionally the budget doesn’t balance…nor do our family commitments. We’re still learning.
Veteran YPs are full of….it. You may know it as ‘the call.’ It’s the ‘it’ that keeps us in when our joints and muscles drive us out. It’s the ‘it’ that brings a smile to our face when we’re asked for the 1,437th time when we’re gonna become a real pastor. It’s the ‘it’ that makes us see promise – and Jesus – in teenagers when most people see problems – and that other one.
Veteran youth pastors are most assuredly full of it. If you’re working in youth ministry – you should get close and see if you can get some of it on you.