Youth Ministry "Expert"...

I have taken a sabbatical from writing on either of my blogs. When I say sabbatical, I really mean I have been lazy and have not been in the writing mood. In fact, the last time I wrote a blog, I was "asked" to removed it and apologize from my end. I was also ousted and hounded by the "celebrities" of the youth ministry world; though there were the few that actually reached out to me to give me a chance to say what I meant before jumping off the deep end. However, that time has come and gone.

I am not here to stand on a soap box and yell at the crowd "REPENT OR YOU ARE GOING TO HELL! THE MOTHER SHIP IS LEADING YOU IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!!!" Honestly, I have had my share of attacks on the youth ministry world. For so often, I have been pointing out my proverbial index finger at all the wrong, yet looking back at it, I have three more fingers pointing right back at me. Then I begin to ask myself, what is wrong with me? Why am I not succeeding? Why don't people know who I am yet? I was convinced I would be on the speaking circuit making the money and book deals, all while grabbing the t-shirt, from every church and youth ministry conference in the free world.

Have you ever had that dream? Do you, the youth minister, want a voice? Do you want to be discovered? Do you want to find the secret formula to make ministry work? My lofty goals and high expectations of myself always seem to come crashing down. In the end, my foundation has been shaky and weak at best. I can DO youth ministry all day long, but am I really making the difference in the lives of the students that walk through my youth ministry doors every week? That is where I am failing.

I think a lot of youth ministers have this same struggle. We fight with ourselves, jump churches, steal from other youth ministries, try to reach to the popular crowds at school to bring in more people. I want to know about the unsung heroes of youth ministry. Those of us, who do not get to speak before thousands, hundreds or even in the double digits. Youth ministry is a family. A giant tangled web of emotion, ideas, conferences, fears, worries, doubt, and strengths.

I am no youth ministry "expert", though I have seen that in a persons title before. I don't know what makes people an expert, but in the end, we need to gather together to pray for each other, lift the spirits of each other, and do it at a fiscal amount. I know several youth ministers who are working 2 jobs, one as a youth minister for the students in their small community and the other to support their families. That has GOT to be tough! I am blessed to have a full time job.

Youth Ministry people of the world...All seven readers that read this blog, let us look not to figure out the next great model of ministry. Lets not look to the future to plan amazing gimmicks and fundraising ideas. Lets not look at other ministries and say, I will do that because it works for them.
Let us look at ourselves, list our fears and strengths, our doubts and our cares, our positives and negatives, and lay them at the feet of Jesus. If there is one thing I have learned, it is simply this: I am not equipped to be a leader. I have laid that dream at the foot of Christ. I am equipped only be a follower of Jesus, and to be a first follower, so that more followers join in the dance with us.

We are not leaders. We can't be! Leadership models are the way of the past and has polluted our thinking to the fact that we feel we must build leaders...but what about those who are meant to be followers? Leaders can't build leaders. Leaders must follow someone else. I want us to throw our ministry "expert" caps off and jump into the dance that is following Jesus. That is where we will have our "success" in ministry. This is where we will make disciples. That is where we will fall in love each day, hour, minute and second, with the man who stepped down from perfection, to lead a perfect life, and to take a sinless death to pay IN FULL for yours and my sins.

I am no youth ministry expert, but I believe that being a follower is MUCH more important than being a leader.

What are your fears, strengths, weakness', positives, negatives, doubt about youth ministry as a family and your youth ministry? Post below so that we may uplift and pray for you.


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