As a small city minister from central VT I am often asked why I spend so much time studying urban issues. I can totally understand this question because I must admit that I do spend an inordinate amount of time reading urban ministry books, blogs, and studies. This is a practice that started for me while at Moody Graduate School in Chicago and it is a direct result of my time studying theology, practice, and principles of urban ministry with my friend and mentor Dr. John Fuder.
This year marks a milestone in my ministry that I frankly never thought I would see. When my church graduates our seniors this year, we will be graduating a class that I met as 1st graders. As I finish my 11th year and enter my 12th here at Calvary Bible Church, I am astounded by how wonderfully blessed I have been to be a part of this family. I am also dreadfully aware that my tenure here is well outside the average for those of us in Student Ministry. In my research I have seen the average tenure of student/youth pastors is 18 to 24 months.
One of the most heartbreaking parts of being a youth minister is watching students decide to walk away from the Lord to “live it up while I am young”. Sure, sometimes students are going to make sinful decisions simply because they are human beings with a sin problem, and frankly that is something we all do. But what I am talking about is the willful decisions to set aside their Christianity so that it ceases to be an impediment to fun. It is a decision that in every case leads to consequences, baggage, and, in to many cases, a complete rejection of Christ.