Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yesterday I made it through the end of lunch. After lunch they had more worship and then launched into "The Trouble with Parents." This was a great session where students were encouraged to honor their parents and given 3 very easy things they could do to accomplish that.

1 Stop joining their friends when they are complaining about parents. If you don't complain you won't feel as irritable.
2 Respectfully do what you are told when you are told to do it
3 Go the extra mile by doing things you don't have to do.

If the students do this their parents will naturally be more likely to let them have more privileges. That is a great truth that the students need to learn. The session also focused on the issue of forgiveness because a lot of parents have really hurt their children. That was my favorite part because I knew one of my students really needed this. 2 others that I don't know well responded to it as well. The altar call was incredibly moving and I was able to get down with my students during each altar call. This is something I would have done anyways but before the first session they had an informational meeting with the Youth Pastors were they encouraged them to be a part of the weekend. I know a lot didn't get down there. I saw LOTS of students with no one there to pray with them. I also know that it is hard to get with everyone that responds from your group, but looking back I could see plenty of the Youth pastors sitting back with the rest of the group and that made me kind of sad, especially when those YPs had bigger groups than mine. I think they need to remember the parable of the servants given talents while the master was on a trip. What they have will be taken if they don't invest in it. I'm just saying.

They had the Youth Leaders session during this and I sent 3 of my leaders to that. I haven't been able to sit down and talk with them about what happened during that session but if it was anything like the Youth Pastor break out then it was great. There was some more worship and then they had DA Truth come out while the Youth Pastors got to leave. God is good. I was planning on being in the lobby or possibly outside if they didn't have our session when this group was out. I heard them last year and that was more than enough.

The Youth Pastor session was amazing. It is funny how often I tell other's to keep God the center but then end up letting ministry become my center.

After this we broke for lunch and that was a nightmare. We walked to the inner harbor. That wasn't so bad. Actually it was a pretty nice walk but some students should be on leashes. Instead of eating a couple girls went shopping. One of the girls had already spent all her money, which was more than enough for all the meals. She bought several snacks in the arena and a couple shirts. Next thing you know she didn't have money for lunch. Can you imagine that? The various eating places were very full from the normal crowds plus the ATF crowd, people in town for the Yankee/Orioles game, and another convention. Yeah it was busy down at the inner harbor. When it was time to finish up I sent out a text to the students and hunted down a few I didn't have numbers for. I found the two girls shopping and told them it was time to go. "But we haven't eaten yet." Yeah girls not my problem lets go. "Ok we'll go find the others" Um, no you are coming with us. Next thing I know they are gone. When they made it back to the convention center I had a talk with them. One had not been listening the whole weekend. The one that spend all her money. She isn't stupid but she pretends. I would tell everyone I need to say something about lunch or something. They would all be looking and then 2 minutes later she is asking what is for lunch. I'm gonna end up going crazy because of this one. Well she hurt her toe when she wondered off so I told them that they need to start listening. I explained that we want them to listen because we love and care for them and don't want them to get hurt. Because they didn't listen and wondered off like that someone got hurt and it pains me to see any of my student hurt because I love them all. I didn't have any more problems so maybe that talk helped for a while at least.

We got back from lunch and had more worship. I think it was the best worship they had. Then they had the last session "Here comes trouble" which was about going out changed and changing everything else. At the end they had a large cross (20'+) on the stage with a bunch of smaller (~6') piled around it. Then they carried the crosses around the arena. They challenged the students to take pieces of paper and write on them things they need to sacrifice and nail them to the crosses. It was amazing to hear the hammering all around the center.

After that things wrapped up and we got loaded into our vehicles for the trip home. It wasn't that easy but whatever we made it home about midnight and after getting all the kids loaded up and sent to their homes I made it to mine about 1 am. I woke up at 6:30 am on Friday and got to sleep again at 1:30 am on Sunday. If my math is right that is 43 hours of awake time followed by 6 hours sleep before going to church for Mother's day. Trust me when I say I was crashing hard by then. During the 43 hours awake time I had one small cup of coffee and a Monster on the trip back to the church. Oh, and Wednesday night (Thursday morning) I didn't sleep either because of a bear visit. From Wednesday night to Sunday I had roughly 12 hours sleep in total including 2 intervals of 40+ hours awake time. One of my friends told me he was more tired than I could be and suggested we compare notes. Well Greg, there is why I am tired, not counting the manic jumping and emotional/spiritual energy of the weekend which is hard to quantify. How was your weekend?

Actually I don't' mind doing this from time to time. Most of my exhaustion comes from not taking a day off in over two weeks now. Actually by the time I get a full day off it will be 3 weeks and that ain't good. My Pastor's wife is gonna kick my butt and my wife is gonna help. She tattled on me Sunday so now I'm in trouble. Oh well, I'll take time off as soon as I can which is Thursday.


katdish said...

God bless ya, I really don't think I could work with all that teen angst and whatnot.

And speaking of me, I made an Easter cross once where I made a huge cross out of railroad ties. I printed out every sin I could think of (lust, greed, etc...) nailed them to the cross, then painted 2Cor 12:9 (my grace is sufficient...) in red paint on a sheer white piece of fabric and draped it over the cross. It was pretty cool, I thought.

Nick the Geek said...


Sounds pretty cool. I must admit the angst isn't the thing that irritates me as much as the stupid.

Helen said...

Nick, I am glad you went to pray with your students.
I am surprised that other youth pastors weren't motivated to do the same. I mean, when they give their life to Christ, isn't that the culmination of what you have worked for...yes, I know ongoing support is also your job, but....I can't imagine the joy of seeing someone turn their life over to Jesus, and know that you were a part of it....
I'm glad your weekend went well.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

So are you going to be a youth pastor when your kids are teenagers? Living with angst and stupid (fruits of the teenage spirit) is different than herding cats like you do. That being said, I really would have loved to have someone like you in church for my kids when they were growing up. What an awesome example you are! I hope the parents show their appreciation.

Nick the Geek said...

Yes they say things like "put that in your t-shirt cannon and fire it" all the time. I assume it is because they great big monkey butt heart me.

Nick the Geek said...

Sorry didn't mean to skip your comment. Yeah I was honestly surprised to see so many sitting back. Especially after the encouragement to be involved this weekend. I think they tend to view ATF as an event you take kids to. It's like "hey I work 51 weeks of the year to get them here now fix them and I'll bring another group back next year." I guess I'm just not that cynical about my teens yet ... now the adults on the other hand ...

Marni said...

This post makes me really miss working with youth. I marvel at how little sleep I used to get back when I was heavily involved (and before I was working outside the home). Good times, good times...

Bless you for investing so heavily in these kids. It's often a thankless ministry (or so it seems) and you get by on little pay, little help, little sleep and lots of caffeine. But working with teens is SO impactful to them (and I'm sure to you which is why you keep plugging away at it). And man I feel you on that one kid that makes you wanna turn away from ministry and turn to the bottle ;-) I had 3 of those kids over the course of 6 years. God taught me a lot through them...mainly patience and grace. Now I can smile at the memories, but at the time...whew...

The teens I used to work with are now out of college, many are married, a few have kids. And they still come see me and tell me about things God used me to help minister to them. It's very humbling and encouraging how effective teen ministry is. What a blessing you must be to those kids and their parents.

Sorry I've been comment slacking. I've been reading though and it's good stuff ;-)

Nick the Geek said...


It's ok I've been blog slacking but things were crazy busy. I get a week or two to breath then summer officially starts.

I will say that I did not have lots of caffeine. I had a small cup of coffee with my breakfast. Less than a cup so like 6 oz maybe? Then I had a Monster for the trip home because dozing on the beltway = dead. Everyone was shocked because they kept asking "how much Monster (or coffee) have you had today?" and I kept coming back with just the small cup of coffee. I think they asked because I was more energized than most the Youth. I can run like that for a few days. A week and I'm done though. After the past 2 weeks I was crashed come Sunday but I still got up and did my thing but not nearly as energized as normal.

Post a Comment