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.