Sunday, July 23, 2006

Been Thinking About My Calling...

Lot's of thoughts swirling around my head, but wanted to lay out an intitial piece about my calling. I was reading my buddy's blog (AdamMclane.com) the other day and he has some interesting thoughts on youth pastor discouragement/calling and then back a little while ago, Andy Jack emailed a bunch of folks about "calling". So, I have been thinking about it a lot lately. Don't have any mind shattering thoughts but here is what I think so far, and it's the very beginning stages...

Early on in Ministry (1-6yr) I felt/knew I was "called" to be a youth pastor. A church hired me at 19 and our youth groups did very well. I was extremely passionate and never wanted anything else. I also didn't let anything get in the way of ministry, ie...family, college, health, nothing short of being the world's greatest youth pastor.

Middle years in Ministry (7-9) Things slowly started to change, what was once important, was not. I started to get my prioities right and set healthy boundaries. See, the first 6 years I was all about numbers. We did outreach events that attracted thousands of kids and I found my identity in that. I stopped taking myself so seriously and started to realize I put my "calling" above my family.

Last few years in Ministry (10-11) I don't know if I can say I am "called" to be a youth pastor. I have been a youth pastor for the last 11 years and it is for sure the main way I use the gifts that God has given me. But I know for sure I am called to be a child of God, a husband and a father. My calling, I belive is my family. For years, I messed up and was so consumed with my "calling" to youth ministry that I neglected my family. So now, being is a youth pastor is definately a huge part of my life, but I feel like the bigger part is my calling to my family.

Maybe I am not as committed as I used to be, maybe? I don't know. I love youth ministry, the local church and students, I just love my family a whole lot more. I know all youth pastors do as well, and I know these thoughts are pretty elementary, I just needed to write it out. Again, simple thoughts, but just a few that are swirling.

2 comments:

Dan Ohlerking said...

sounds like a great time to go to africa. a missions trip working with the young people and kids (AIDS orphans, OVC's) in swaziland could really be something God would speak to you through.

not to say you'd become a career missionary - that's not the point. but the perspective that spending time in that world could bring you - could be awesome.

and who knows? maybe missions IS in you deeper than you thought. there's a whole lot of young people in africa.

think about it. pray about it. don't be too quick to think "who in the world is this anyway?" and blow off the idea.

Lord, i feel like a stalker. Jason, i'm not trying to be creepy - i've just been tracking your blog the last few months and i read this post and i thought, man, i oughtta invite him to go to africa with children's cup. who knows - maybe it was a God thought. maybe it was the late-nite snack i ate a few hours ago.

i hope it was God.

matt said...

Maybe you are realizing that God has called you to be many things. Youth pastor, Father, Husband, and more. To put your all into one while not enough to the others would ignore some of what God has called you to do.

At the same time, God didn't put the world of youth on your shoulders. Sometimes I saw a side of me that made me think that you were operating that way.

Enjoy the ride my friend.