Why I do what I do

Why I do what I do

As I sit here in my office I am about 30 minutes away from Marshal County High school. This morning there was a shooting there. A student of the school showed up with a gun and shot at his classmates killing 2 and injuring several others. In the past 6 months there have been several other shootings at schools including on in Italy, TX that happened yesterday, that I hadn’t even heard about until today.

Right now it is 2:02 and I, like so many other parents, am counting the minutes until school gets out so I can see my kids and give them a big hug simply because I still can. As I sit here one thought keeps coming into my head.

“This is why I do what I do.”

There are lots of reasons why I am a youth pastor. It is where my skills have lead me. It is a whole lot of fun. It’s easier than being a pastor. It is amazing to see students worshiping God, especially those doing it for the first time. But when it all comes down to it the reason I do what I do is because of days like today, because we are living in a messed up broken and dark world and there are millions of teenagers who need to see the hope Jesus offers and for some God only knows reason He has sent me to take the light to them.

This is why I do what I do.

I do it because I walked through dark times, through bullies, and parents dying, and my own stupid mistakes, and I know how dark life can feel at times. I do it because in all of those times I always knew that I had hope because I always knew that God was with me. I do it because while I always knew those things I also know that there are so many kids right now who don’t have Jesus walking with them, they don’t see light at the end of the tunnel, they don’t see the hope that God brings. I do what I do because these students need to know that while this world is broken and messed up ultimately this is not all there is. There is a God who loves and cares for them, and ultimately this broken world is not our home.

As I have gotten a chance this past year to spend some time in the middle school I have found students who are desperate for someone to see them, to care about them, to speak good things into their lives. My heart breaks each time I walk out of the building because I know that there are so many more of them than I could ever help. But the reason I do what I do is because God has put in me a deep desire to see teenagers find Jesus, to find hope, to find real life that only God can provide.

On a day like today I am reminded again.

This is why I do what I do.

The greatest shift in communication in 500 years

The greatest shift in communication in 500 years

Have you heard about Pro Church Tools? If you are pastor or volunteer in your church do yourself a favor and go spend some time there. I actually don’t hit their website all that often, but I do watch pretty much every video from the Pro Church Tools YouTube account.

One of the big things that they are found of saying is that we are living in the biggest communication shift in the past 500 years. Not since Guetenberg changed the game with his printing press have we seen such a shift in the way that people process and have access to information. (you could argue that the TV revolution in the 60s was a pretty big shift and it was, but that was still one central location for content which was being made by others, the internet is different). I am an old man and I can remember people being dismissive of the computers in general, then people were mystified by the internet. I was online early, starting this Nailcars.com blog way back in 1998. In those days I was the only person I knew that was creating content for the web and still knew lots of people without internet access.

But now with the social media shift that is happening I feel like the old dinosaur talking about kids and their new-fangled toys. I understand that it is the way that people are communicating, getting information, and being creative, but walking into that world I still feel like a bit of an outsider, like I am the teacher who is trying to be cool and saying all the wrong slang.

But I am trying. That is part of the reason why I am doing a video blog, not because I really think it will take off, but because I want to be familiar with the genre and learn the tools needed to speak into this new revolution. I am still a long way from figuring it all out, but I am committed to helping teenagers connect with Jesus so that means I am wading into this thing as deep as I can get. It isn’t easy, and I feel lost most of the time, but I keep my eyes on the prize (that is a generation of souls that are desperate to find what Jesus offers) and resolve to do anything short of sin to proclaim the gospel.

How I prep a Youth Talk (Vlog 1)

How I prep a Youth Talk (Vlog 1)

So I got a new camera and a computer that is actually able to edit the footage from said camera so I am trying to spend some time making a daily log of what I do. These first few vlogs will be just sort of how I work and what my order of things looks like. Then I hope to transition into thoughts about youth pastoring and life as a dual youth/children’s minister in a small church.

My reason behind this is that I think there are lots of big church people talking about their process and how things work in their church, but for the average size 200 person or less church there is less dialog about the day to day life of a youth pastor who is also the media editor who is also the associate pastor who is also the whatever it is in your church that you do other than just teach students. So I hope this series of blogs will help you out.