Are youth pastors today working too hard, or hardly working?
That is the debate that I see unfold all the time. Youth pastors in the past have had the reputation of being lazy, sloppy, and underprepared. We have successfully changed the paradigm today. Youth pastors are professional, and we have degrees, books and blogs to back us up.
The problem is that as professional youth workers we are not resting. We at youth ministry media have posted on the need for rest multiple times. We did a series called: Redeeming Rest. No matter how often we post on rest, the reality is that youth workers are not resting. I see youth pastor friends sacrificing everything for ministry including time, time with family, and time with God. We are burning out.
For the most part we have an identity problem. We are finding fulfillment in what we do instead of who we are doing it for. You are not your youth ministry, you are not a pastor, or a youth director. You are a child created in the image of a loving God. We are living in a identity distortion. This distortion messes everything up, including your marriage, your relationship with God, and your youth ministry.
My prayer for you on a saturday night is that this week you would understand how God created you. That you take on the identity of a child of God.
Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.1
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.2
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!3
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!