I’m a Youth Pastor and Not a Rock Star, There is a Difference Right?

2 comments Written on January 30th, 2012     
Filed under: Reflection
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Author of this guest post, Marcus Lantz serves as the Youth Pastor of Faith Covenant Church in Breton, AB.  Marc also serves as the YMN Facilitator for Canada.

I’m 26 pushing 27, just over three years into my first youth pastorate call, and I’m as insecure as ever about my ministry. I want to share a bit of insecurity that crosses my mind every so often when I’m reflecting on my call to serve students, “Am I working hard enough?”

Networking with other youth workers is important to me as I serve in a rural church. I need to be in touch with other youth workers to feel support and to hear what’s happening to the greater youth ministry. That’s the good part. The tough part is when I gather with other pastors and their phones are “blowing up” with text messages from students, while my phone is on “power safe” mode in my pocket for days before hearing from a student. I often feel like I’m not investing enough in students when my peers seem to be so central to the survival of the teens they serve and I’m “just another respected adult”.

The topic is often a prayer cry, “God, show me your will for my life. If I need to spend more time one on one, then open doors for it. If online resources are ways of connecting, then convict me to log in more often.” The list goes on of ways I am not giving everything to my students. However, my prayers are often answered with a simple gesture from someone that God uses to remind me that I’m a “servant of the Lord” who deflects praise toward His throne instead of seeking personal praise. Now, I know in my heart that these peers of mine are doing everything they can to live out their calling, but leave it to the enemy to try and attack something as special as the support of my fellow youth workers. When I’m honest, I know I’m doing my best with my gifts to serve the Lord. It looks different than other youth pastors, and it doesn’t have to be wrong.

Insecurities were rarely a problem for me before I accepted God’s call to ministry. What was never even on my radar is now one of the biggest attacks to my sanity. I write this to hopefully connect with others who feel flooded at times with the insecurities of doing God’s will. I pray we brothers and sisters in Christ will release those insecurities to our Heavenly Father who is Truth. Then John 8:32 will become more and more real as we are set free from those insecurities.

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2 comments “I’m a Youth Pastor and Not a Rock Star, There is a Difference Right?”

Thank you for this reflection, Mark. I too have felt the insecurity of seeing other youthworkers who seem to have that high level of affection/attention/connection with so many of their students.

Th reality is, we are gifted in different ways, and different styles of youth leadership can have profound impact on our students despite not being the center of attention in our students lives. If anything, such a style is not built for longevity– for when that charismatic youthworker eventually leaves the church, will the good ministry disappear with them?

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Marc, Thank you for this refreshingly honest and transparent blog. I, too, feel the “pressure” when I connect with other writers and speakers, many with more deadlines and speaking gigs in a month than I have in a year. One writer noted that she had 10,000 hits on her blog in the few months she’s had it. I’m lucky to get 10 a week. (It’s taken three years to get to 6,500). It’s hard not to compare. But I have to remind myself that I’m where God wants me to be. That He’s given me a different kind of ministry. I am to tend to the Lazarus at my gate. Like Mother Teresa, focus on the face before me. Be faithful in the ministry to which He has called you. Praying for you, Marc! Love ya!

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