It was my 35th birthday last week and I was doing some reflecting and I wrote down a few thoughts I would like to share.

Early on in ministry I feel like I was driven and goal oriented but was chasing the wrong goals. While I don’t think I’m perfect in anyway I have learned and have been challenged in a few things as I enter my 15th year in youth ministry.

I used to care only about attendance.

Now I know attendance A thing not THE thing.

Used to think a full room equaled success.

Now it’s how many are being discipled intentionally.

I used to strive to be THE GUY. Everything depended on me cause I was the leader.

Now I realize the importance of building teams, giving away big parts of ministry to leaders and building up other leaders around me.

I used to pride of my work ethic and how hard I ran.

Now I strive to rest better to work more effectively and to reflect/pray more often to get to where I want to go more healthily. (And strive to encourage people to do the same. Rest well that is)

I used to strive really hard to make a name for myself and prove to others outside of our ministry that I was successful. If I’m honest there is still some of that but it’s not as much (hehe)

Now I strive to serve my teams well, lead my teams well at Sandals  and help make Jesus’ name known in our ministry for our students.

And because of that even though I might not get the platforms I was chasing earlier in ministry as much, I know that the platform I do have can strive to help others realize how important your ministry locally is.

Truth is, students dont care how often you speak outside to other students. Cause it doesn’t help them. Just other youth pastors think it’s cool. Even though I would say it’s to spread the Word of God deep down, I knew a part of me knew that’s why I did/do it.

I used to seek praise from my field.

Now I want to hear “Well done good and faithful servant” more than anything else.

I know that I am really good at leading ministries.

I realized I now need to be better at leading people.

Does this mean I am stopping to do other things, have a podcast, write YM blogs and speak at camps/conferences?

Nope. Still driven. Still feel I want to use the small platform I have to talk about Jesus and help others in their ministries.

It used to crush me I was not invited to the thing or invited back to speak. Now it’s the mindset of kill it where I am at and if what I can do can help others… cool”. It’s a constant heart check of my motivation and WHY. It just doesn’t bug me or bring any feelings of I’m not good enough when opportunities don’t come because I know I’m not called to that, it’s extra. I’m called to serve where I am at, to the people I lead, and the kids under our watch.

So driven youth pastor, what’s the goal? Where’s your heart? Why you doing what you are doing? Are you well rested? Is your soul rested? Spiritually full? What REALLY drives you? What crushes you? What things are a focus to you? And does the heart behind it really honor Jesus?

I know I’m not nailing all of these things but something I have been challenged by and driving for. My prayer is you do to.