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Fatigued and Loving It

Almost two months ago, my wife and I left our first ministry in Indiana and drove five hours west, just outside of St. Louis to pursue our second ministry. You can read back through this blog to read about that adventure and to see how God had coordinated numerous steps for us to be able to make the journey here to pursue His will. I am still in awe at how obvious His hand has been throughout this entire ordeal.

Today, I find myself in the office, officially feeling like the new youth pastor at my church. Not that the past two months have NOT felt like me being the youth pastor, but things have just been so busy. For the first three weeks, there wasn’t a whole lot going on while I was here. I wasn’t teaching Wednesday night youth group, as they were preparing for VBS. Then, VBS week came, and Lindsey and I enjoyed the socks off of it. Then we were on vacation. Back home for a week and I taught on a Wednesday. Left for a convention. Came back home and slept a billion hours. Last week, we split between junior week at state youth camp and the teen missions trip to downtown St. Louis.

I’m fatigued.

But the fact is, I’m loving it. I’m worn out. Today, I slept through my alarm, woke up 6 minutes before 8:00 am, and rushed to be in the office by 8:15 (the joys of living about 3 miles from the church…).

This is ministry. As I prepare here for Wednesday’s lesson, I am having the opportunity to minister.

On Sundays, my pastor has begun a new series out of Romans called:

As we were talking about this series he would be pursuing on Sunday mornings, I couldn’t help but think about youth group on Wednesday nights. We began to talk about how many times in youth group, or even adult classes, we are hit with numerous different sermonettes throughout the week. You get Sunday School where you get one little nugget. Then the morning worship service where you get another. If you have Sunday night service, you get another one. Then mid-week, you get another one. So I thought, “What if we were on the same page? What if I took Wednesday evenings with the youth group to still teach them and disciple them, but we’re on the same page as the Sunday morning worship?”

It’s going to stretch me. It’s going to fatigue me. But in the end, I think the payoff will be good. What are the benefits?

  1. Students will see one cohesive church, instead of numerous nuggets thrown at them every time they come to church. Why not? Why not show them that on Sunday morning, as my pastor is preaching Truth, it is directed at them, too! Why not bring consistency to give them a double dose of what the church is about?
  2. Make parents do work. Since the move, my attitude has become harsher. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I’m just a jerk. But I think I’m tired of playing the game of church and youth ministry. Deuteronomy 6 calls for parents to disciple their children. I want to empower the parents to disciple their kids through teaching the same things on Wednesday night. We won’t examine the same passages, but instead, we’ll take the theme or a point and look at it from a different aspect of Scripture. Then, I’ll be expecting my parents to take it home, talk about it, reiterate it, and use it for a teaching point. There’s been a movement of churches pushing parents into the light of their children’s lives, and I love it. But, I think we need to be bold enough to let parents know that God’s plan is for them to teach their students at home. If God commanded it, then when they don’t, that is called sin. Call it what it is.

Yeah, I’m worn out. Yes, I’ve slept more in other places during the month of July than I have in my own bed. Yes, I’ve travelled over 3,000 miles in the month of July in a car. But would I have it any other way?

No, because I’m right where God has called me. This is ministry. I am learning and growing in ministry and seeing God work in the lives of those who need it. I have a ministry that God has placed me in, where I recognize it is my job to teach youth and empower their parents to raise them at home in the Word.

So no matter how tired I get, I can always put a smile on my face.

There’s no other place I’d rather be. (Except maybe asleep….)

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Categories: Church, Youth Ministry
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