Okay, before anyone gets snarky about the title, this is not a plea for attention. It is an honest question. Have you prayed for your (or the person serving at your church) Youth Pastor today? Let me explain why I am asking...
Today, I had lunch with a group of youth pastors. Now, this does not happen very often, but it is usually pretty great to get together with other ministers. These are guys who truly understand what you do, and all that comes along with doing this type of ministry. Brothers-in-arms to use a different analogy. We met at a sub shop, and swapped ideas, talked about our families, and about ministry here in our city. We truly had a good time together.
However, I could see pain the eyes of a few of the guys. Pain that I understand. As I have explained before, many of us pastors have been deceived into believing that we are supposed to have it all together. We are not supposed to get down, we are not supposed to fail, we are not supposed to show weakness... after all, people are LOOKING to US for leadership. So, we bottle our own emotions, and ignore our own problems...that is until our own problems become so great that they can no longer be hidden. When the elephant (your problems) that you think you have kept hidden in the room, finally falls out from behind the lamp post (ridiculous, as it was obvious to everyone else)...it is often a fall of epic proportions.
One of the few places that pastors (and yes, I classify youth pastors as pastors) can sometimes share their issues is with...other pastors. Today, a couple of us had the opportunity to listen to a brother pour out his heart, and pray with him. He is hurting, worn, and exhausted. Years of serving the church can do that to you. It's not that you do not love what you do, or that you do not love the Lord. The truth is that it is a job that you never really get to "leave" at work. The emotions and effects of our ministry are on our minds all the time. We get phone calls at all hours asking for prayer, to meet someone at the hospital, texts for prayer, for a ride, etc. Don't get me wrong...this is what we do...what we signed up for, and truthfully...we love it. I am just trying to illustrate the mental/spiritual side of what we do.
I talk to youth pastors from all over, and the story is the same. The devil seems to be on the offensive right now. I would be wrong to tell you that this is only affecting youth pastors. All ministers are vulnerable. However, the youth pastors in churches can be easy to miss. They are not often front and center, and spend a lot of time with teenagers...a place where many adults fear to tread...:) My request of you is pretty simple. This weekend, take a bit to offer up some prayer for your church staff, but please make it a point for the next week to specifically pray for your youth pastor. Pray for his spiritual strength, his walk with the Lord, his marriage, his vision for ministry, his relationships with other ministry staff members, and pray for physical health and strength. Take the time to thank him for the work that he does with the church. You have no idea just how much a kind word or a thank you can change things for the better. Thank you for taking the time to read this!
Lastly, once again...some may think of a blog article like this as rather self-serving. Please be assured that this is not my intent at all. Just wrote this out of concern for my brothers in ministry!