I am officially 23 days into my exciting new position serving the young adults of our congregation, and so far, it has been amazing. I have heard stories of teens sharing their faith, heard firsthand the struggles they are dealing with, and gone to my first devo in almost 20 years! Ginny and I have felt privileged to begin this journey alongside the young men and women of Northside, and I know this will continue to be an amazing and life-changing experience.
Shortly before I started, Pat Weber taught a class to the teens that was extremely helpful to me. He separated them by grade level and had them write a list of expectations for the new Youth Minister. They presented their expectations out loud, and then gave me a written copy for future reference. I was excited to read the results, but a little nervous as well. Overall, expectations are a good thing. They provide understanding, clarity, and are a great way to communicate. But expectations can also be daunting, especially when starting a new career.
My mission in this new position is building spiritual growth and lasting faithfulness in the teens of our congregation, so the expectations they had written for me were of great importance. I was humbled and surprised at the simplicity and depth of some of their answers: “To be present,” “To be true at heart,” “To know and teach the Bible,” “To be honest and kind,” and my favorite “To be there for us.” These young adults seem to have a very healthy understanding of what they want in a spiritual leader, and what will ultimately help them grow and stay faithful in the coming years. These expectations were the first thing I hung on the wall in my new office at Northside, and they are a daily reminder of what I’m here to do.
As Christians, sometimes we need daily reminders of our purpose, and what we are here to do. For me, that reminder is a simple verse that I hope to emulate as much as possible in my coming years of service as a youth minister, one that will help me meet the worthy expectations of our teens. This verse cuts through the clutter to the core of what we should be modeling for our young adults, and for each other. 1 John 2:6, “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
Walking as Christ walked is an expectation of every Christian who wishes to abide in him. Based on what we know about the life of Jesus, we are not called to an easy path. It gives me joy that as I face difficulties in my new endeavor, and as we all face the difficulties and trials of this life, that I have fellow Christians with the same