Listening to:  

Reading:  The Wounded Hearler, Henri Nouwen

Writing about: Youth Ministry, transition, Myspace

My Youth Ministry Career started in 1999, and ended on September 1st, 2014.
Some folks have asked…I am not moving or leaving my church
I am now full time Mission Pastor.

If I had packed up a bindle when I moved downstairs, from youth to mission,  this is what I would take in it:

bindle
This is a bindle.
The bag, not the old timey guy

1. My RED FOLDER:

total folder
redacted: every office phone number and security code I’ve ever used.

I am not one to attach meaning to objects. Trust me, I am notorious for throwing things away.
However, this folder held everything that a cell phone should hold for my entire career,
plus all of my undergrad and seminary work.
It is filthy, ridiculously juvenile, and fantastic!
I am not exaggerating, this folder has held every piece of information ever used in my youth ministry career.   #analognative

2.  Much Less Hair

I entered youth ministry with hair like a woman.         Exhibit A:          hair

Now I have less of it. But it it’s much greyer.                 Exhibit B:        .less hair

3.  Delusions of grandeur and cool status

People sometimes say that working with youth keeps you young.
They are wrong!
Youth culture moves at lightning speed, and it is designed to push out the old.
I finished my youth ministry career with tools and understanding that only an adult can bring, to speak into youth culture from the outside.  But I was certainly outside.

I used to be able to impress kids with book of photos I took at rock shows.  Pictures of the next big thing, bands that I had “exclusive knowledge of”.  I had a huge collection of independent label CDs and giant earrings.

ear
in place of ear rings I now have ear hair!

Everything about that statement is a relic:
Photo books were killed by digital.  CDs replaced by MP3s..then again by streaming.  Exclusive knowledge of anything flattened by Google search.  Dinosaurs one and all.
I do, however, still have holes in my ears…but somehow that doesn’t seem to help.

4.  Unrelenting Practicality

Have you ever given a talk to 120 middle school kids?
That junk better be short, refined, and to the point.

Think it would be fun to have a water balloon fight with the group?
every balloon takes about 15 seconds to make and about .1 second to destroy.

writing your first blog post?
better throw them a bone, it’s getting boring

IMG_4836
that’ll get em to keep scrolling.

 

Creating content for teenagers  has made me into an accountant of ideas.
I can only see the grind.
Every idea I have is weighed against and filtered through it’s practical implications.

5.  A Myspace account

I feel like we should probably just keep moving past this one.

6.  A little ache

I don’t want to grandstand, but here I am…writing a blog.
I love youth ministry.  I loved my time in youth ministry.
I felt called and empowered, I had fun.
I love teenagers, I believe in teenagers.
I was honored to be able to be a part of what God is doing in the next generation.

In my life I have had two real, big-boy, full time jobs.

I was a terrible kitchen manager at chic-fil-a
And I was a youth minster.
I will dearly miss one of those jobs.

collage

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