u t h p s t r
in His grip, thankfully!

old timer

i was talking to a friend brian today sensed the call out of youth ministry a few years ago.  it was great to catch up and hear how his life and family are doing.  but it made me realize that i’m a long, long, long term youth pastor now since so many leave ministry every year.  if i start thinking about the youth pastors that were working in holland six years ago when i started here, i can only think of two who are still doing youth ministry. tara and dave.  maybe i forgot someone, but i don’t think so.

it’s weird being a veteran, old timer, at anything.  i remember in seminary that they talked about the percentages that have long term ministries.  and it wasn’t that impressive.  they were trying to give us a reality check but sometimes it felt more disheartening than they intended.

there is part of this that i think is cool.  it’s that it must be God wanting and using me in ministry or the chances that i would still be doing it would be slim. i know i have plenty of flaws that would get me ousted and out of ministry unless it was God’s providence for me.  and that’s very cool i think, to know that i’m in the hands of God and that i’m doing exactly what he planned for me to do.  it may change at some point and i’m ok with that becasue it’s his plan, not mine.

the sad part of this is how many get abused and beat up doing ministry and you wonder why God allows that to happen or why churches can be so mean and vindictive.  it’s sad that so many people that i respect and care about have felt the need to get out and don’t want to deal with it anymore.  i can completely understand their sentiments and don’t think any less of any of them, but it still stinks.  when you have great partners doing ministry in the area, it’s very hard to see them go.

well that’s my ramblings today. i’m thankful for God’s hand in my life and the ability to glimpse it from time to time.  i hope you get or take the time to do that kind of reflection in your life too. God is good!

pax: ty

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2 Responses to “old timer”

  1. You’re a busy guy! Welcome back home … belatedly, I’m sorry to say. I hope you stay in youth ministry. I believe it is the most important and most understaffed ministry there is. The moments that I spend working with “kids” are the most joyful, rewarding, heartbreaking, difficult and precious times of my life. I know of no greater euphoria than witnessing a kid giving his heart to Christ. Hang in there buddy!

  2. Ty!

    Welcome back. I’ll try to remember to be praying for you all this week during “SERVE.” I say “I’ll try” because honestly I’m not very good at following through on my prayers when I tell people I’ll pray for them.

    Anyway, welcome back. Love your posts and your sweet photos. Glad you could get away for an extended time.

    I agree, it’s sort of sad more of us can’t find a place that will let us dig in for the long haul in student ministry, flaws and mistakes and all. I feel blessed, humbled, and surprised that I’ve been able to do it for 15 years (people must not know what I’m really like!! :)). And even thought I am getting ready to step out of youth ministry, I’m grateful I can move on from it for right reasons (I really feel I have another role to play at VP) instead of being forced out or becoming burned out and/or frustrated. You’re right, it “stinks” so many good people find themselves in those situations. As I get close to finally handing this thing off (we had our last summer event a week ago), and I contemplate, I really think I could keep going in youth ministry and enjoy it! But, I’m ready to shift into a new area and I am excited to come alongside and “new guy” and live vicariously through him.

    You’ve got my support in anything! Keep running “old timer!”


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