This may not be the best way to begin blogging after a 2 month hiatus, but it is something that has been weighing on my mind heavily. My subject is the frustrations that I have been experiencing in the youth ministry.
Frustrations with Myself
In my mind, I guess, I have this image of what a pastor should be, and I don't live up to it. In large part I think of pastors as being these transcendent type of men. Men that have achieved a level of personal piety that are beyond the average man. In my mind I know this is not accurate, but that doesn't make it any easier. I look at myself, I see my constant struggle with sin, and I think "there is no way that I am cut out to lead God's people." Actually putting it down on paper (figuratively speaking) it makes me start to think about my salvation and a possible relationship to the ministry. Salvation does not come from us. At no point is it dependent upon us, if it were, it would not really be salvation. Our salvation is by the grace of God because of the perfect righteousness of Christ. I think, in a lot of ways, the call to the pastorate is much the same way. Did the call originate with me? The answer, of course, is no. The call to the ministry comes from God Thus, if God was the one that called me, He is the one that will keep me. Perhaps I am wrong with this.
Another area that I have been frustrated with, is my preaching. I have a firm conviction that students don't need anymore games or music or any of that other fluff that normally accompanies the youth ministry. I have worked with students enough over the last few years to know that what they need is God's Word. They are being entertained to death by their parents and the culture and they don't need more of it from the church. To give in to it in the context of the ministry is only feeding the addiction. So, all I do for youth meetings is I preach the Word. I have been for the last year and a half we have been going through the book of Ephesians, expositing 2-3 verses or, on the outside, 5-6 verses, per week. This is where the problem comes in. Most of the time, I can tell the students what the verses mean, but I fail to tell them why it is important. Most of the students aren't engaged during our meetings, and I think that is part of the reason. I give them the facts about the passage, but I fail to give them the "so what." I try, I really do. There are times where I give them a "so what" and they just don't care. Is it because I fail to deliver it in such a way that is relevant to them?
There are times, as of late, that I question my call to the ministry. Was it really something that I just wanted and then imposed upon God? If God was the one that did the calling, wouldn't there be some spark of something going on? I just don't know.