About a week ago I was asked by author Jeff Goins if I wanted to be on his book launch team ; I said sure. I was familiar with Jeff through some videos and his book The Art of Work so I was excited to jump on board, and I am glad I did,
Jeff’s new book, Real Artists Don’t Starve, has hit me where I Iive. God knew what he as doing when he connected me with this book.
I can’t just read a book, though. I read a book like a butcher cuts meat. I trim the fat and cut the book into chunks for easy digestion. Here are my goals
- Let every youth worker know they’re an artist (who happens to play dodgeball).
- Share some thoughts from each chapter of the book to help you become a thriving artist in your ministry.
Let’s start with the fact that you, the youth pastor, are an artist. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof. Many of you, weekly
- craft messages
- design slides
- take photos
- edit video
- There’s an art to all this. I know the care you put into all of these things, so why sell yourself short? Say it with me, “I am an artist”.
- I take my messages and post them up in my store at fair prices. You could do the same.
- Back in the day, youth ministry had it’s now version of the starving artist. The youth pastor had to have a crap car, we had to share our room with the kids church, all the furniture in the youth room was donated crap, and our offices were the old janitorial closet. I am familiar with all of these and at some point I thought I was super holy to live this crappy. That is until I changed my mindset.
- Many of you chose to go into youth ministry young and have grown up in it. Some of you have entered youth ministry later in life and I salute you. Some of us brought skills into the ministry and some of us learned them along the way. Some of us are musical, some of us are graphic designers, and others are amateur carpenters. Don’t you dare say you’re not an artist. It all counts.
In the book, Jeff says,
Thanks to the power of this myth, many of us take the safe route in life. We become lawyers instead of actresses, bankers instead of poets, and doctors instead of painters. We hedge our bets and hide from our true calling, choosing less risky careers, because it seems easier. Nobody wants to struggle, after all, so we keep our passion a hobby and follow a predictable path toward mediocrity.
You became a youth worker because you love teens. Many of your teens are blooming artists, we owe it to them to hold our profession in high regard even if no one else does. We should model to our kids what it means to boldly display our art and give them a peek behind the scenes of how we do what we do.
If you’re just getting started, take Gary Vaynerchuk’s advice and document your journey in front of your kids. Share your message prep on Instagram and show them the slides you’re creating (and ask for their advice) on Snapchat. Show yourself setting up for the outreach on FB Live.
The first step to changing your mindset from “I’m just a slob who works with teens because no one else will” to “I am a youth ministry artist, creating the atmosphere for kids to know God every week. No one can do what I do like I do it.” is Jeff’s first point
The Starving Artist believes you must be born an artist. The Thriving Artist knows you must become one.
No one is born a good youth pastor. No one gets a special kiss from God to be one. We all work at it. If you don’t think you’re an artist now, stay in youth ministry long enough and you’ll become one, if you want to be.
I hope you’ll purchase the book for yourself and get the full context and all the great stories Jeff uses to deliver his points.