Some Advice To Young Youth Pastors

My friend Patricia asked these questions on FB

“Folks, if the following situation happens to you, you really need to think:

1. Do you want to work for a boss?

2. Are you happy with where you are right now?

If not, what is your plan?

This simple question got me thinking about deeper questions and arriving at  disturbing answers, or rather, realizations.

My plan? Always hustle, whether you work for a boss or not. Hustle for yourself first and you goals. I was told, “help people get what they want and you will get what you want.” I don’t know iif that is true anymore.  I don’t think I got what I wanted from those I served except a paycheck, and although grateful for it, it’s not all I wanted.

I still think we should serve and help others; but long the way, I forgot what I wanted. I have to get back to what I want and help others along the way.

Now, I love my job. I believe my pastor loves me and he blesses me every chance he gets, but he does not have my best interest in mind concerning my future.  I know he wants me to have a great future, but he can’t help me get there, only I an do that.

When I was younger, I used to think Senior Pastor’s had my best interest in mind. They did not.  They have the whole church in mind and  I don’t blame them, I blame myself for putting more trust in them than in God or myself to get me where I wanted to go.

When I was 29 all I wanted was to reach young people. At 49 all I want to do is reach young people and  position myself to be happy when my time as a youth pastor is over, which could happen sooner rather than later. I wish I had added the second part when I was 29 but I was too idealistic; I trusted the system and men. Bad idea.

The difference between 29 and 49  is, today, I look out for myself along the way, I don’t count on any pastor or leader to make my way for me, it is my way and I have to hustle for it.  I am documenting my life and ministry, with the  future in mind,. I am keeping in mind the life  I want with my wife for the next 20 years.

My faith is strong and is firmly placed in all the right places, first in God, second in myself, and third, in others.

I know all this sounds super cynical. it’s not meant to be, it’s simply a truth I have ignored for too long. The “sleep” started waring off a few years ago. It happens with age and this  truth is often met with great despair, a “what have I done!” moment. Thankfully, I am grabbing the steering wheel before I find myself in a place I did not want to be.

If you’re  29 and  love God and teenagers, Let me give you some advice.

Write your book now.  At least start it.

Don’t let group-think tell you what your hobbies should be. If you don’t like golf, don’t play it.

Use the tools at hand (like the internet, a tool I didn’t have) to find your voice.

Share what you know with those who need it. There are no secrets to be kept.

Be generous, but take care  of your self., no one will do it for you.

Do what you love and try to make money at it even if it’s a side hustle.

Don’t just work hard for others, work hard for yourself.

Don’t let religion rob you of small pleasures.

Quit following the system. The system will not love you back.

Follow Christ, He loves you and has your back.

Youth Ministry is, and always will be a worthy cause. The youth ministry you currently have is awesome, but transient. A moment in time. Another worthy cause is the life you want to live now and after youth ministry. Keep that in mind as you serve.

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