I was born into the world of fulltime student ministry with the proverbial cape on my back. Fresh from college, dripping with naivete, but passion unmatched by any mortal, I burst onto the student ministry scene with vigor and just a hint of arrogance. I was ready to show all those who went before me how its done.
With bravado matching that of Charleton Heston–you know that time from the NRA Convention, with that long rifle lifted high into the air–just as he clutched that firearm, so I clutched my copy of Len Kageler’s “Youth Minister’s Survival Guide”, with that “from my cold, dead hands” glint in my eye.
And I burst onto the scene with a “get outta my way and let me show you how its done” attitude. Unstoppable, uncompromising, and unmatched.
Fast forward to present day….I’m tired.
It’s been 13 years so far since the youth ministry world first beheld my glory (or so I thought). 13 years of loving, crying, trying, failing, succeeding, and wondering just how to do this thing called student ministry.
And its along the way that I’ve learned quite a bit. Good thing, too. Otherwise I’d have pretty much nothing but a set of love handles to show for the past 13 years.
One thing I’ve learned is that its remarkably easy to leave God out while doing things for Him.
Another thing I’ve learned is that being creative takes longer than imitating, but is way worth it.
Another nugget I’ve picked up is that I don’t work the same in my office as I do at Panera.
Something else I’m reminded of is that loving Jesus equals loving everyone else. If you can’t do that, you’re not allowed to follow Him. His words, not mine.
I’ve come to embrace my slowness. Not slow as in dumb, just slow as in…slow.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve recently left the realm where I had any chance of being cool. And that’s o.k. with me.
I also learned that when I park my car in a certain area of the church parking lot, and I take my skateboard out of my trunk, I don’t even have to take one step to reach the front door.
I also have found that not only do I enjoy writing, but it seems a few other people enjoy my writing, too. And I’ve found ways to use that for the Kingdom. Pretty cool.
I also have learned that when things aren’t right at home, ain’t nothin’ right.
These are just a few of the things I’ve found true in the past 13 years of fulltime student ministry.