If you know that I’m a single dude, then the anniversary thing might throw you off kilter just a tad. Today marks my one year anniversary that I’ve been here at my church as Pastor to Students. Its been an incredible year of preaching Christ, seeing teenagers saved, seeing teenagers spiritually grow, seeing teenagers change, development of the student ministry, construction of the student facilities, focussing of the worship services, becoming more intentional with the Sundays school small groups, enhancing the Sunday night student ministry teams, birthing the KTL (future pastors) ministry, starting new mission trips, sharpening the media-look of the ministry, inaugurating the student Sunday school wing, etc.
I gotta take my hat off to my church here. They took a chance on me. I literally moved from living in a city of 600 people and youth pastoring in a church of just over 100 people to moving to a church of 600 people and youth pastoring a student ministry just over 100 teens. I just thank God I haven’t fallen on my face…except for in prayer for grace!
I can’t tell you how much I thank God for the pastoral staff He’s brought here since I’ve been here. When I started here there was no full-time senior pastor or worship pastor. The associate pastor and children’s minister both left within the first two months of me coming on board. I wasn’t sure if I was hard to work with…or if I needed to work with my body odor. Many people advised me not to come here since there was no senior pastor in place. Honestly, I would have given them the same advice. All I knew was, God was definitely calling me here! Since then, God has called a top-notch senior pastor here who is a spiritual mentor in my life and one of my best friends. He’s also called a worship pastor here who I respect pastorally and who I personally appreciate. Both of these guys are so gifted and talented, and I’m just blessed to be able to serve with them.
I look back and I’m instantly so thankful to God for the students here. They’ve enduring the changes we’ve put into place, they’ve listened and grown from the preaching and teaching, they’ve invited me into their lives, they shared with me their hardships, and they’ve let me be a part of their joys. I can’t imagine pastoring a better group of students!
I’m equally thankful to God for the parents here. They work very hard which frees me up to study, cast vision, plan for the future, and pray for the ministry. They’ve literally taken over the administration and leadership of events like our ski trip, Disciple Now, BASIC mission trip, Back To School Bash, monthly ABC’s, canoe trip, Summer Camp, etc. They told me they’d work hard if I came, and they haven’t let me down for one minute.
Lastly, I’m thankful to God for this church as a whole. I would never want to be a pastor to students in a dud church. This church is a live, it is loving, it is centered on Christ, it serves, it takes care of each other, it reaches out, and it is focused on the future. With much humility, gratitude, and hope for the future, let me say, “Happy Anniversary to me!”