The month of June has been VERY long for me. There was always something going on with our youth ministry or the church and somehow the youth ministry was roped into it! It was very tiring but I am so glad to be a part of it. It showed me how much my students are willing to serve and how much they love the church they are in. I am tired, but refreshed after my short vacation to the beach where I did a WHOLE lot of nothing! I am ready to get things going and ready for a lot more ministry....that is until I got a punch in the gut late last week.

I was sitting on the veranda reading a book and I got a call from my best friend. I knew he was on a mission trip with his youth group, so something must be wrong. I listened to his voice mail he left me and almost dropped my phone. There was a youth pastor, whom we both knew very well, and he was ARRESTED FOR CHILD MOLESTATION! This youth pastor was in a relationship with a 15 year old girl. On Monday, June 27, he was arrested early in the morning at the Atlanta airport, RIGHT AFTER returning from a mission trip.

I can't say that I know all the details of the investigation because I do not. I am simply telling of what I do know from media sources and outlets. Now, this youth pastor and I go back a ways. We were not the best of friends, but we knew of each other and could probably pick each other out of a crowd of people. However, when I heard this, my heart sank! This youth pastor has a family, a wife and 2 kids. The sadder thing is, this was described as a relationship with this 15 year old girl. This required effort and methodical action.

So here I am, on July 4th, the birthday of our nation and I am sad. When I see how this can happen to people we know, I am also thinking about the freedom the Christ offers us in His grace and love. Satan is looking at this and is thinking that the fall of this youth minister, the sin that was/is in his life, the way the nation looks at the freedoms we are given and he is laughing. Satan looks at situations like this and dances because another one who works for Christ has gone down because sin eeked into their life.

I have not talked to this youth pastor or his family about what is going on or what happened and I imagine I can't for a LONG time. However, my first reaction was anger. I was angry because of some of the things this youth pastor said not to long ago about others. He was very condescending and he had this holier than thou type of attitude. I was mad. Now looking back, I am now more sad.

I feel for this youth pastor. I have no right to judge him for his actions, only show love to him and pray for him about what is going on. I can only pray for his wife and kids and the STRUGGLE they are going through. I can imagine the hurt and judgement that they may be receiving. I know that I too have fallen from grace. I have had my share of downfalls in my life. Mine were not too long either.

I want us as youth pastors to do a few things:

First, we need to try to guard our hearts from sin such as this youth pastor friend of mine. It can effect ANYONE and Satan sees this as a victory.

Second, we must try to find ways have a heart for those that sin and point them to Jesus. When we see that others are hurting we can show them the same love that Christ shows us. However, we must NEVER put ourselves in any kind of situation that would cause anyone to think something bad. Always guard yourself and protect your family, yourself, and your church.

Finally, we must realize that we are sinners saved by grace and that we will get caught in sin again; but Jesus will always win in the end, because it all points back to the cross.

Sin can grab the best of us. We are given MANY freedoms to talk how we want, think how we want, worship how we want, and do almost anything we want. We live in the Freest nation in the Free World. Christ has given us many options, but we must always turn back to Christ.

Does sin still grab you today, while leading your youth ministry? What is the biggest sin you see your students struggling with? How do you help students deal with sin or things going on in their lives? Are you protecting yourself, your family, and your church when counseling other students?
Leave your comments below!


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