Don’t Give Your Whole Life To Youth Ministry

Vanity

meaningless

a chasing after the wind

Are all themes of the book of Ecclesiastes and only now am I realizing that this also applies to youth ministry.

When I read verses like

And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless Ecclesiastes 2:19

I realize how futile my efforts are if youth ministry is indeed what I have given my whole life to.

When I started youth ministry, I thought youth ministry was immune to the wails and woes of Ecclesiastes (how naive I was), and I threw myself at it with great abandon. I’ve given my whole life to young people, but I should have given my whole life to Jesus.

No, I don’t worship ministry, although I have. Yes, I love Jesus, but some days I’ve loved the gratification of man’s words to satisfy my soul rather than the gentle whisper of my Savior.

I’m learning, and re-learning, every day, how to commit my life to Jesus and the eternal rather than the ministry and the temporal. I am taking Solomons advice

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24,25

There is no enjoyment of ministry without God.

Youth Ministry, like any career,  will only take you so far, satisfy you so much, before you start to have those “What is this all about”, Solomon kind of thoughts.

If you’re a young youth pastor, don’t give your whole life to youth ministry because youth ministry can only give so much back to you. If you’re a veteran youth worker, it’s a good time to re-commit your life to Jesus.

Give your life to Jesus, find joy in him and you will receive more than you ever though possible and, unlike youth ministry

“those who put their trust in Him are never disappointed.” Romans 10:11 NASB

 

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I’m A Youth Pastor First

I have been cranking out quite a bit of content lately and boy is my throat and fingers tired lol. In case you did not know, this is what my schedule kind of looks like in an average week.

Up at 6:00 a.m. (most days)

Morning Facebook Live Devotion (10-15 minutes)

Create a 2-3 videos a week of YouTube (almost to 1300 subs)

Write 3-4 Blog Posts

Work on message series

Work on podcast

You may ask, “Paul, with all this, how do you have time for youth ministry?” That’s easy, I’m a youth pastor first and foremost. The needs of the kids in our ministry come first. There have been weeks where I haven’t posted anything, anywhere, because I was 100% focused on the church and our youth.

You see, I’m a youth pastor who happens to make videos, write stuff, and make podcasts; not the other way around.

My passion for other youth workers and their needs is somewhere around 9-10 in a top 10 list. One day that may change, but for now, I minister to teenagers and my community full time and create on the side.

I’m not going to lie, creating, speaking, to youth workers, etc. is very tempting, especially if I am not liking the direction of our youth ministry or I just don’t want to deal with an issue.; but when kids hug you before leaving the youth meeting, get inspired and tell they want to start a drama team, and laugh at your lame jokes, it’s easy to know where my treasure is.

Scripture says:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34

Where is your treasure right now?

Is there anything competing for your heart? What?

How do you deal with the tension?

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Avoiding Buzzer Beaters In Youth Ministry

One Second

 

Tis’ the season for buzzer beaters. I love watching buzzer beaters, but I don’t want to ever be in a situation where the game is down to one shot. Like this latest one.

The clock is always ticking in youth ministry (and life)

  • the clock in ticking until our seniors graduate from our ministry. 
  • the clock is ticking until camp (make those arrangements)
  • the clock is ticking until you are supposed to have that talk with that person (and you are ignoring it)
  • the clock is ticking until you have to turn in those receipts
  • the clock is ticking until you burn out from lack of time in rest and prayer
  • the clock is possibly ticking on our time as full time youth pastors
  • the clock is ticking on our current job/role/ministry
  • the clock is ticking until we the day we die

I don’t want my life, faith, or ministry, to come down to a buzzer beater. I want to be ahead by 20 points in the final minutes. My production on the court of life means taking every opportunity to build a relationship, share the gospel, preach that hard message, confront sin in my own life, and produce as much art, like training videos and extra articles to equip youth workers who watch their own countdowns tick down.

So, If I should be blessed enough to die at 85, here is what my count down would look like. I hope when the final second ticks off I’ll be exhausted, fulfilled, and way ahead in every area of my life.

 

Where are you at? What quarter of the game are you in? What event are you counting down to? Are you ahead? Tied? Behind? Where are you trying to beat the buzzer? Will your life come down to one more shot? Tell me about your countdown below.

If you are looking for more Buzzer Beater advice where I share my weekly schedule and other tips, you can check out my article Buzzer Beater Secrets For Youth Workers