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Watch this 30 second clip before reading on.
A former student of mine. Mitchell, has a podcast called The Wrestling Diaries where he interviews people with interesting stories and backgrounds. In this episode he interviewed his friend, and also former student, Jason Allen.
Mitchell, Jason, Matt, Ivey and Thomas made up a friend group that interested in skateboarding, rock and roll and backyard wrestling. They were such as blast to have around. They were fun loving, non-conformists a they made me a better youth pastor.
Yes, there were challenges. I had to defend these kids more than once to the higher ups in my church. According to them, these kids did not dress right or act right. Yet, they went to camp every summer, raised money for missions projects, participated in church dramas and were, in every sense, part of our church. I regret nothing when it came to defending them.
Jason’s shout out to me on the podcast was a reminder that influence is forever.
The students you are influencing now, might start a podcast, a YouTube channel or a twitch stream and and your influence will be right there with them for good or for ill. Accolades on a podcast are fine, but it’s not the reason you should care about your influence.
You are setting precedent for how student see the world, how they see church and, ultimately, how they see God. I was not the only one who influences them. These kids had good parents and support systems, for the most part, but I am happy to counted among them.
Because everything we say and do is the length and shadow of our own souls, our influence is determined by the quality of our being. – Dale E. Turner
What you believe about teenagers, your deepest convictions, should be lived out in your youth ministry.
Students see who you stand up for, who you love and who you invest in and will adopt, with some caution, what they see.
I’m glad to have had my shout out, but I’m more glad they remembered my convictions about student ministry and how Jesus would have done it.
Remember, your influence isn’t just momentary, it is forever.
If you want to watch me being interviewed on Mitchell’s podcast, check our the video below.