By Don Bennett
Last week in my final talk in a two part series from 1 Timothy I challenged our teens in the same manner that Paul did to Timothy. He told him to guard his foundation, he said that he should monitor his walk with God, then his family and then his role as Pastor in the Ephesian church. This is interesting because for many (not all) in Pastoral roles we focus on the third if being a better and more creative Pastor, but fail to help one strengthen their faith and that of their family.
We are consistently moved to look at new and creative ways to Pastor, given many tools to utilize and empowered to move outside the box. The reality is we need to guard our faith, our doctrine and our hearts and make them priorities before seeking out new ways to lead. I remember as I say this an interesting report Jesus shared with the Church at Ephesus in the book if Revelation. He told them that they had one thing against them and that was “they had forsaken their first love”. Have we as youth workers in trying to stay trendy in ministry and staying ahead culturally forsaken our first love?
I was reminded on this further as I read from Henri Nouwen,
It is not enough for the priests and the ministers of the future to be moral people, well trained, eager to help their fellow humans, and able to respond creatively to the burning issues of their time. All of that is very valuable and important, but it is not the heart of Christian Leadership. The central question is, Are the leaders of the future truly men and women of God, people with an ardent desire to dwell in God’s presence, to listen to God’s voice, to look at God’s beauty, to touch God’s incarnate Word, and to taste fully God’s infinite goodness. (In the Name of Jesus pg.43)
Question: As Youth Pastors/Workers what are our priorities and how do we respond to Nouwen and lead effectively in this generation?
Don Bennett is the High School Pastor at The Meeting House in Oakville, ON. He has just recently agreed to be a contributing blogger with thinkyouthministry.ca, we are excited to have him as part of our team.