I’ve given you eight things I did not know going into ministry. If there were only eight things, I would have been quite content. I’ll take you through numbers 9-12 today, and if there had only been twelve, I would have been really happy. But who am I kidding? I am happy. My job rocks. It’s just tricky sometimes.
9. You must become a fan of things you never liked before. Until you learn to become a fan, be quiet.
There are things I am exciting to go watch now that I never did like before. It’s not that certain events have grown on me, either, but I love watching students from YG participating in sports, concerts, and shows. I am not known for being a fan of women’s basketball. I remember being excited at the beginning of the WNBA, because I love basketball, and I thought year round basketball would be great. I watched the first five minutes of the first WNBA game ever played. Then I fell asleep. I haven’t watched it since. I’m just not a fan of the pace and style. I mentioned my lack of love for women’s basketball from stage at my first church. That didn’t go so well with our girls basketball players. Did I love going to their games and watching and cheering for them? Yeah, I did, but I had to convince them of that, because I didn’t keep my mouth shut.
10. Cool your jets.
First of all, I borrowed that phrase from my mother. I’ve been teen to cool my jets many times over the years. Anyway, I’m not sure why you would yell at a group of students, but it’s common in new and/or immature youth pastors. There are few disciplinary issues that require addressing (and by addressing, for some, it means yelling) an entire group of people. I had a college professor that tried this bit a couple of times. I never did respect him, and I would leave during his rants. Why? Because it didn’t apply to me. I wasn’t the one talking, and I wasn’t paying for him to yell at me. Students do not pay to come to youth group, but if they did, I doubt they would pay to go to one where the youth pastor wore their angry emotions on his sleeves. No one wants to be yelled at, and it doesn’t make sense to yell at an entire group over the sins of one, or a couple, or a few. I have also found that yelling isn’t the most effective form of dealing with people on an individual basis. Just cool your jets.
11. Taking your youth group to camp is nothing like a vacation.
I think there are some lead pastors who have not learned this lesson yet, either. I’m not talking about Dave, either. I’m graciously allowed comp time after camp. There were other youth pastors at workcamp last year, though, that were planning to be in the office the next Monday. No one told their lead pastor how tiring camp is on a youth pastor. You’re busy from the time you get up till you go back to sleep, which will be late, and you will sleep lightly, so you can hear movement. You must protect yourself from pranks, after all. My most tiring week of ministry this year will be from June 25-July 1 this year. Before my first time going as a youth pastor, I thought camp was like a free week of vacation. My mistake.
12. Be careful what you write about.
Why? There are people who will read your blog just so they can hold it against you. I’d better not say too much. They might be watching. Quick…walk away.
Hope you are enjoying your snow day, wherever you are.