Is EVERYONE called??

I’m a dad – a husband – a veteran youth pastor.  I’m trying to follow God’s call on my life, despite my own shortcomings and because of His unfailing love!

So why the title – when it’s pretty obvious not everyone could possibly be called to youth ministry?

Over the years I have developed the philosophy that, indeed, everyone has a role to play in the student ministry – the parent, the college student, the senior adult, even the one who says ‘I’ll never work with the teenagers’ – especially them!

I love students – and while I realize that’s not everyone’s slice of pizza, I believe people can be so enriched, enhanced, and challenged by finding that one special nitch in the student ministry where they can thrive…

Sometimes that’s driving kids to and from church. Sometimes it’s making sandwiches for a youth meeting. Sometimes it’s leading a small group, showing up at a basketball game, praying over one specific student, or listening to music you’d never listen to in the comfort of your own car.

Regardless – I know it’s true – EVERYONE can love Jesus by loving teenagers!

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2 thoughts on “Is EVERYONE called??”

  1. I was one of those “I’ll never work with teenagers!!” until I started teaching a Ballroom class for kids that over the course of two years morphed into a class for teenagers (and the occasional “tween” who thought theyy should be teens already). The joy is absolutely something that cannot be languaged. I have seen boys, bribed by their mothers to come to the class or who fully believed that they were ‘stiff white guys’ incapable of dancing or who are so afraid of girls they literally cannot function around them, become confident PEOPLE who go from completely shutting down or going into complete rage when having to work with someone they don’t like to being able to function in the moment to achieve a common goal – in this case, getting down the dance floor, but it relates to how they deal with others when they have to do a science project or a class play, too.

    The dancing is just the vehicle. I have seen girls fully immersed in a culture that asks them to debase themselves by copying the latest trash trend and expose their bodies in ways that would make members of the ‘world’s oldest profession’ blush with embarassment. I have been challenged to speak the truth to these kids even if it makes their parents irritated and especially if it makes the kids roll their eyes- like telling one such young lady that her two best assets were not her right and left breast and that there was much more to her than what her body offered. In that instance, when she came out of the dressing room in a costume that was anything but flattering, yet she was revelling in that unflattery, I prayed “Dear Lord, how do I help this girl see she doesn’t have to do that…” and the words fell out of my mouth.

    Working with teenagers IS challenging. The atitudes, the hormones, the ego, the primping, the chatter, the lack of focus and the lack of discernment about what is important to focus on and what can be left for later, the dynamics that different styles of parenting and even parents who do not have God in their lives – all of it comes together to make working with teenagers really hard sometimes. However, the rewards for anyone who says ‘ok Lord, if this is where you need me, here I am” are vastly worth it and the kids appreciate the stability of having someone in their lives who does reflect the Lord’s ways even a little.

    Thank you so much for all you do!!!

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