I grabbed my issue of Group Magazine yesterday and read it cover to cover for the first time in a long time (thank you, electrical outage). Each issue has a Top 10 list – and this issue was Top 10 Things Youth Pastors Wish They Heard from Parents. It got me thinking… (smell the smoke)?
Parents hear a lot of stuff from youth workers….sometimes junk they wish they hadn’t heard! Here are ten things I bet parents wish they heard from youth pastors:
10. Your kid is awesome – you’re doing a great job with him!
9. Parenting is tough. I don’t know how you do it!
8. They grow out of more than their clothes. Don’t worry – this will pass.
7. What can I do for you?
6. Your kid said something great about you last night and I wanted you to know.
5. I know things have been tough. Here’s a scholarship for our next event.
4. I read this Bible verse and thought of you. (Just make sure it isn’t ‘Jesus wept’ or something equally ‘communicative’.)
3. We’d love to have your family over for dinner this week. How’s Tuesday look for you?
2. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of speaking into your family’s life.
1. Can I pray for you? (And then, actually pray for them….right then.)
I have heard a few of these things from our youth pastor. I have said a few of these things as the youth pastor. What would you add to the list?
….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.