I’ve struggled with this of late. I tend to lean to the hype side of things. O.k, I ‘m a hype junkie. I want things to be big and exciting. But what happens when you drop a hype junkie into a homey youth ministry?
Hype, to me, is the big worship service, big crowds, big stage, big games and big preaching. Most youth workers will never experience this. I have, and it’s addicting. It’s taken me seven years to fully appreciate the youth ministry I serve. They are not a hype bunch. Their a homey bunch. I used to get my kicks from the numbers, events where I had DJ’s on the church roof, and big altar calls. For past seven years, God has been detoxing this hype junkie to teach me something else, the meaning of homey.
My definition of homey, as I’ve witnessed it, is kids who just love to be together. It’s not that they do not want a big crowd, they just have a limited reach and sphere of influence. They really do love each other and my “hype” attitude could have destroyed the dynamics of our group by putting pressure on them to be more than what they could be.
After events that do not go as I planned or do not have the numbers I think we should have I have had to work through my own selfish disappointments and search for the silver linings. This is not just me putting a ring in a pigs snout, it’s God revealing what is true about my group and what is true about me and that I must have the courage to change to best minister to them.
If you are a hype youth pastor in a homey setting, here are a few tips
Keep your expectations high but reasonable.
Call them higher but love them in the low points.
Put away your bag of tricks after the first three fail and start over.
Appreciate the small things.
Quit equating numbers with success.
Focus on discipleship and evangelism will come.
Don’t openly show your disappointment with students, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Find every positive thing you can find about a kid (or your group) and highlight it and brag on it.
Coach them up to be more not do more.
Don’t highlight who is not at the meeting/event.
No one likes to see a bunch of empty seats. Put out just enough chairs plus a few extra.
Come to grips that God has not brought you here to change the group but to change you.
Finally, here’s some good advice,
[bctt tweet=”Don’t believe the hype. I don’t care how many number ones you have at the box office, I don’t care how much they say you’re great, don’t believe it. Just stay in your lane and do what you’re supposed to do. – Tyler Perry ” username=””]
How about you, are you a hype youth pastor in a homey situation?
How are you dealing with it?
What is God showing you?