The challenge of being young in ministry...


I am 25 years old. I am also a pastor. These two things conflict sometimes. Now while I'd love to tell you that I feel with certainty I've been given a Divine Vocation or that there's some "calling" on my life, I...um...I can't. Sorry. I was thrust into ministry. Having come from some pretty rough places growing up, I fell pretty hard for Jesus shortly into my adult life.

I was addicted. I was addicted to the life that the bible promised me. I was addicted to the power of the Holy Spirit. I was addicted to the love I was receiving from people who didn't seem to care where I had been. I was addicted to Jesus. So I began to serve. And I served and I served and I served. I was good at serving. God was using me and I was letting Him. So I served some more. I couldn't quite figure out what I was good at so I tried everything. It got to the point where my regular job was getting in the way of my serving with the church. The church recognized this and so they offered me a full-time position. My title? Associate Pastor.

I was 23 years old and I was going to be caring for hundreds of people. I had no idea what I was getting into. Two years later I still have no idea how I am in the position I've been given. It's somewhat surreal, but isn't God?

There are a lot more challenging areas in the realm of leadership, things I was not ready for. What do you do when people continually assume that you're the Student Ministries guy? The answer, "Nope, I can't stand teenagers." can only work for so long. What do you do when someone declines your council for input from "the REAL Pastor"? Everything inside me wants to hide in the corner and cry, but I think I read that's unacceptable in some John Maxwell book or something. I feel like a poser. I feel like I'm the wrong guy for the job. I feel completely and totally inadequate. All of these feelings are only sometimes, but when they're there...they're there.

The most challenging thing for me would have to be the battle that rages in my mind. When your head pops out of the foxhole that's when you get shot at. Sometimes I feel like my hole isn't dug deep enough and there's a target on my dome. Satan lies to me and I agree with him more often than I'd like to admit. I'm happy to report that I've recently been stomping on Satan's punk face though. I'm able to quickly fall into the serving man rather than God category. Thankfully, God has been reminding me that He looks at my heart rather than my outward appearance. (1 Sam. 16)

So there...I admit it. I don't really know what I'm doing. God sure seems to though.

5 waggish utterances thus far...:

Ryan Allen Doan said...

i hear that brother.

Helen Ann said...

Hmmm...other people who thought they were all wrong for the job:

Moses
Abraham
Noah
Gideon
David
Peter

Seems you're in good company, mate!

Keep stomping on the enemy's lying, ugly face!

Anonymous said...

You are in the right profession.

Debbie said...

I think you are wiser than alot of people twice your age because of the fact you were forced to grow up so fast. Life has kicked you around alot. But Jesus saved you and he is using you to save others!
Just do your thing.

Anonymous said...

Sooo... in the end... what exactly DOES an associate pastor do? Is it a jack-of-all-trades thing?