Ping Pong

For those of you who have worked up a sweat beating the better players in your ministry or simply made quick and embarrassing work of the lass talented. For those who scoff at the idea of doubles ping pong because you can dominate all by yourself. For those who wrote in ping pong skills on your resume, today is dedicated to you.

Illustrations

All youth pastors love to illustrate their points. It is a key part of communicating. But somewhere between talking about how Jesus is just like a mother hen and our actual mother, it is time to draw the line. We have all been there. I once told kids to view their entire life as garbage in order to line up with Philippians 3. Let’s just say it didn’t have the desired affect. Share some stories in the comments of when you over-illustrated.

#20 – Complaining?

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!(A) Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.(B) Do not be anxious about anything,(C) but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.(D)And the peace of God,(E) which transcends all understanding,(F) will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

God has given me a fantastic opportunity to be in ministry. I love it. It has been fantastic. I prayed so much for this chance and, now that I have it, I am so thankful. As I have gotten into ministry, I have noticed something that disturbs me greatly:

Some pastors I run into are just unhappy.

You talk to them and they talk about ministry like it is a huge burden that they do not happily carry. I do this sometimes to. It scares me. It convicts me. It makes me feel like I am missing the point. Today, I want to take a minute to talk not only to pastors but to anyone who is not finding joy in their life.

First of all to pastors. You have the best job ever. People do your job as volunteers and pray to God that they church would have enough money to hire them so that they can quit their other job. Be thankful. Rejoice in your position and be thankful.

Now to a broader topic: Rejoice! It is funny how we treat the Bible. The commandments that make life harder are viewed as more serious than the ones that make it easier. The admonition to avoid lying to get ahead is a big deal. if you lie, you are doing something wrong. I don’t know any Christians who will openly talk about how much of a liar they are. However, the Bible also tells you not to worry (Phil 4:4-7). I know plenty of Christians who wear their worry like a badge of honor. It is sin. I know this is difficult because it is hard for me and I don’t even have kids or a lot that can really go wrong in my life.

This type of thinking brings us back to God’s purposes. God didn’t write the Bible to make things hard. All of the commands of God are there to help us live the best life possible. Lying is the same as worrying in God’s eyes because both take away from the life he wants for you.

Today I want to encourage you to rejoice in the Lord and not worry. To do otherwise is sin. 🙂

Addison

#19 – Old Music

We have all been there. We are at our big weekly meeting and we throw on our playlist and something amazing happens:

Nothing you play is relevant

You are still rocking out Five Score and Seven Years Ago by Relia

The fact is that we aren’t hip. 

It is a sad fact but a true one. We just love playing things that no one has ever heard. I had a youth leader just last week telling some kids about how they haven’t heard good rock music until they have heard Kutless. Here is the bad news: The music industry is changing. Here’s the good news: You aren’t called to be cool or hip. You are called to be a Pastor. Find out what music your kids like and play it. You don’t have to be hip to the scene. Just show your kids that there are positive alternatives to what they are listening to. This is just a confession from one guy who is not cool anymore to anyone else who is willing to listen.

Addison

#18 – Their Wives

In honor of valentines day, let’s take a minute and remember who the most underpaid and under appreciated person on the Youth Staff. Some are quick to say: “Yeah it is me!” but we all know that’s not true. Your wife is asked to be a volunteer, a participant, an example, a worship leader, a small group leader all while working her normal job and dealing with your schedule. If you haven’t said thank you in the past five minutes, shoot out a text like now. If you don’t appreciate her, talk to one of your youth girls about their girl problems this week. Wasn’t that annoying? Every week, that is your spouse’s life.

So today we salute you Mrs. Youth Pastor. Without you, not only would we be lost, we would have a man party every week.

Addison

#17 – Violent Games

For those who are unfamiliar with the origin of this photo, it is a logo from “The Hunger Games.” This is a book in which 24 (2 from each “district” of Panem, a fictional futuristic, post apocalyptic dis-topian  society) participants between the ages of 12-18 fight to the death in an arena in a short of reality TV show environment. There is something they don’t tell you in the book or the upcoming movie though:

A Youth Pastor definitely thought of this idea. 

12- 18 years old – Youth ministry.

24 – a perfect number to get most of the group involved.

2 from each district – clearly was originally small groups.

I see what you did there Susanne Collins. You were simply paying tribute to the #17 thing that Youth Pastors like, Violent games. In youth ministry, we do things that are flat our reckless. Partially because they are fun and partially because we know that youth kids have pent up rage and a school system that sucks the fun out of even dodgeball with those stupid soft touch things. The fact is that youth pastors have this unexplained thirst for violence. It really is hilarious. Some of the most violent things are also the most fun.

So today i salute you Mr. Overlord of Violence. May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor.

Addison

#16 – Polo Shirts

These polo shirts make a statement. That statement is simply this: I am sophisticated but i am still fun. I can meet a parent AND demolish a thirteen year old in dodgeball. Polos provide that type of versatility. You can’t get that from a t shirt. Just try to. It won’t work.

Where you get these polos is immaterial. Your rookie YP will get them from a place like American Eagle and will spend 15-20 dollars on it. They do help make you even cooler but they are expensive. This becomes difficult to do on a sub 40k salary so they quickly change their game. They trade coolness for cost and begin to exclusively get their Sonoma brand polos from a wonderful place like Kohl’s. These YPs prove true the slogan: The more you know. The more you Kohl’s. Once they switch from AE. Kohl’s is the place for them.

So heres to you Mr. Commander of the Collared shirt. You have done well. You can shake a hand, make eye contact, look like a professional and be ready to get into a nerd battle without changing outfits. I, for one, am proud of you.