Who are you? Who are you becoming?
The problem is YPs tend to see our vocation and identity as one, and not separate. For some odd reason, we find our worth and value in our career and achievements. What is in our wallet defines who we are. There are countless number of symbols of belongings all around us. We join clubs, teams, sororities, fraternities, unions, churches, synagogues, organizations, and political parties. We mark our tribe through labels, tattoos, piercings, language, color, symbols, music, and style and this is just the surface of an array of ways we find to belong, to fit in, and to be insiders.
We are all searching for ourselves, trying to understand who we are, hoping that we might discover our unique place in this world. Some of us think that our youth pastor position is really a big deal and people need us.
As youth pastors we think we need to sell our souls to the church and say yes to about 80% of the stuff that comes our way to prove to our parents, students, staff, and others we are DOING THE WORK OF THE LORD. Right? How many times have we said: I have to do this?
You and I don’t have to do anything. I know some youth pastor who literally work 7 days a week. Not healthy.
Being a youth pastor is tough-demanding work. We shouldn’t adopt the idea that being the youth pastor is our only identity. Being the youth pastor is what we do (and we do it pretty darn well), but it is not who we are. There is a big difference.
So who are we? Who are you?
We are the beloved child of God. That is it. We are loved by God. This is such a basic principle, but why do we run around week in and week out stressed out and busy planning and preparing for youth group? We justify it by saying….. it is for the “ministry.” But is it? Or is it really about you and I wanting to impress everyone with our slick programs?
We seek approval from God, and not people in our churches.
We forget this verse:
NIV Matthew 3:17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
We will only stand before God on judgment day, not our congregation.
We should say NO to about 80% of the stuff that comes our way. There is nothing worst than disappointing someone, especially a devoted church member who thinks really highly of us. In order to keep our sanity and longevity in ministry, we have to say NO to a lot of stuff.
Try it out. Say no and watch people get mad at you. Beware of the people who like to play their spiritual guilt card. Because you said no, you suddenly become NOT spiritual. Your health matters and if you want to make it in ministry, you have to be healthy and make time for yourself or else people will walk all over your.
If you want I have about 15 stories about youth pastors who aren’t youth pastors any more because they thought they were superman/woman and they are deeply paying the cost.
So say no! Let your no be NO and let your yes be YES.
NAU Matthew 5:37 “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes ‘ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.