Lately, I have been blessed to journey with a band of brothers united with a common calling (student ministry) and a common mission as of late (serve/ encourage / resource other student pastors). We are blessed to be a part of a national youth ministry board that is focused on helping student pastors receive free and practical training. Weeks ago we held a training weekend in Largo, FL and this past weekend, we were in Portland, ME. This Friday we will be heading to Jackson, MS. We have met and will be meeting an array of student pastors in different pockets of the country, and one thing I’ve noticed as a common theme is that they (we!) ALL need… encouragement.
Student ministry is difficult – its not just a job or something fun to do on the side… its a calling. If you’re not called to it, you will quit – and lately I’ve encountered student pastors that have been on the brink of throwing in the towel. This last weekend in Portland, ME, we met a couple that had made up their mind that they were through. Frustrated, they were convinced they were not called to student ministry… and were ready to hang it up. Awesomely enough, this past weekend was a time of refreshing for them – they got some fresh perspective, some fresh ideas and training, and more importantly, gained a network of a few student pastors that were willing to be open and honest enough with their ministry failures and short comings that were willing to get around them and encourage them and pray with them. It has been awesome to be a part of these weekends where like minded people with a similar calling and mission come together and grow together, encourage each other, pray for each other… it has been a joy to be a part of. I can’t wait to see what will happen this weekend in Mississippi.
If you are a student pastor, make it a point to connect with those around you! Get some brothers in arms that you can talk to, share ideas with, and pray with! It will be an incredible encouragement. You will be amazed when you spend time with another student pastor – put all the budgets, big events, attendance tracking, who’s doing what/where stuff aside – and just support each other. You’ll see each others heart. You’ll see common frustrations and problems. You’ll find encouragement. You’ll be a source of encouragement.
Can you network and journey with another student pastor? I guarantee that when you make the choice to journey together, support one another, and encourage one another, it will be a game changer.