Lessons from Behind the Scenes
Working in a church full time has been a great and challenging journey. Some days are fast paced and full of high energy. Other days seem slow and things just aren’t working the way you planned. One of the things that I never saw from the outside was how much work ministers do. As a kid, I always thought a youth minister’s job was to just hang out with kids and have fun. I realized this understanding wasn’t wrong, but I never took into account the other 40 plus hours of the week they worked.
One of the most important things I have learned at Tates Creek is to keep yourself spiritually fed, never stop yearning to grow. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in “Doing” and forget about “Growing”. When I came to Tates Creek, I was challenged to read scripture for 1 hour a day, and it has been such a key to the ministry that I have done here.
I have a better understanding of the verse in Matthew 18:3 when Jesus says we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven unless we become like little children. Kids are carefree and not ashamed. Working with the kids has made me rethink my views on immaturity versus purity and innocence. We may look at what kids do as immature and silly, but it may be pure innocence. I think that’s what Jesus wants from adults who have a disconnect with the ability to be free like a child.
Lastly, I learned that it is ok to say “I don’t know”. Growing up, I said this phrase so much, my mom said it would be etched on my gravestone. I have learned, however, that sometimes we are not given answers and ministers are just followers of Jesus like every other Christian. Reading through scripture there are many references that tell us we can’t know everything or that God’s thoughts and ways are different and higher than our own (Isaiah 55:8-9). Coming to terms with this gives me a peace that even though I do not know all the answers, I follow a God who does.
As I head back to Johnson to finish up school, I will take many of these helpful lessons, apply them to my life, and hopefully help other people as I continue in ministry. During this Christmas season, I challenge you with another important lesson I have learned here, which is service. Service is helping where there is a need. Jesus showed us this example in John 13:1-20. Continue striving to grow in Christ and striving to be more like Him in all you do.