carDoes your child have a youth pastor?

Now that my oldest is going into 7th grade, youth group is around the corner.  I have such fond memories of my youth pastors growing up.

The year was 1983.  I was a junior higher who was revved up to serve Jesus.  Just a few years earlier, I had accepted Christ.  After summer camp, I wanted to live the rest of my life for God.  And my love for Jesus was solidified in a VW bug.

You see, my junior high youth pastor Dale drove a VW bug which was way cool back then (I think it still is?).  Dale hand-picked four of us to serve on his youth leadership team.  One of our jobs was to visit students who came to youth group for the first time.

We would all pile into Dale’s little VW bug and drive to someone’s house to introduce ourselves.  I don’t remember any specific conversations or even the homes we visited.  What I do remember vividly is that someone believed in me enough to choose me to lead.

Someone saw promise in me. 

Driving in that VW bug, packed in like sardines, I knew I was part of something bigger than myself.  I was a valuable member of a team.

My youth pastor communicated his love for us kids in many ways.  Here are two that come to mind:

Time.  He spent time not only in youth group, outings, and camps, but even on those Saturday trips to visit students outside of church.  I realize now that I have children that was a huge sacrifice for him and his young family.

Team.  He built a team.  Being part of that youth group’s core leadership wasn’t drudgery.  It wasn’t the responsibility every kid was trying to avoid.  No, it was actually fun!  To be chosen to lead was a privilege.  He involved us in real life ministry.  That put such a positive impressive of ministry on my young heart.

Now when I see a VW bug, I can’t help but think of my youth pastor all those years ago.  He made a huge difference in my young life.

Take time this summer to show appreciation to your youth pastor.  Write him or her a note.  Bake some cookies.  Volunteer to drive to an event.  Treat for lunch.

Youth pastors need encouragement to keep persevering.  Summer can be a busy time with missions trips, extra activities, and camps.

Help your youth pastor remember why he or she became a youth pastor in the first place!

Your youth pastor may just be the right person to see promise and nurture it in your child.  

Arlene Pellicane

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