Jon is a writer and speaker advocating for reconciliation with oppressed groups of people all over the world. Ben is also a writer. He’s an author, actually who recently published a novel. Alissa is back in the States working with refugees in Denver. Hillary is a teacher and Gabe is one of those male models with chiseled abs that make you wonder if he’s ever even seen a Twinkie.
These are only a few of the students I had the great privilege to work with for the ten years I was a youth pastor. I’ve heard that leadership is defined as influence. I don’t know how influential I was in each of their lives, but I do know that I am part of their story. Jon would tell you about the time I accidentally hit a sea lion with my paddle while we were canoeing in the dark. If Ben were here, I would tell you about how he used to complain that girls would never like him which is ironic since he’s now married and a total Seattle hipster cool guy. Hill would humiliate me by telling the story of the time I was supposed to be making the kids go to bed and was caught smashing a banana in her face.
One of the reasons I loved youth ministry was that it revolves around relationships. You have to be part of a kids life or they will never care what you have to say about Jesus. I became a lead pastor when we started CTK Durango because I wanted to see what it would be like to lead a church the way you lead students--relationally. Once I got that taste of relational ministry, I knew I would never do it any other way.
What a great joy it is to be part of this church in Nampa where we have the same goal and purpose of getting into each other’s stories. I want to encourage you to go all in on this. Take a chance and see how God wants to work in and through you as we do life together in church community.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
- Ephesians 4:2-3