I’m in Bryan/College Station for another year!
This post will hopefully give a nice, quick recap of this past year and give some of my hopes for the year to come in my new position as Youth Director overseeing ministry towards 5th-12th grade students.
1. I’m finally beginning to be emotionally healthy.
For the past two semesters our staff has been working through Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazzero (a pastor in Queens, NY). Basically, EHS is a few dozen counseling sessions in one cohesive book. Scazzero talks a lot about how Christians generally do a really great job at devaluing and disregarding their feelings or emotions and how destructive this pattern is to themselves and all the people around them (family, friends, co-workers, strangers, etc.). We’ve been learning together how to break out of these destructive habits and live in a new way that isn’t slowly deteriorating our souls.
This (along with having a couple really close friends and a fantastic girlfriend) has taught me some things:
- I am a recovering control addict.
- I am a recovering self-abuser.
- I do want to clarify something here. I do not mean self-abuse. I mean that I am so naturally horrible at showing grace to myself when I sin. I get really down on myself and treat my brokenness in the exact opposite way that Jesus did.
- I am NOT busy.
- I’m just limited. It’s okay that I can’t regularly do what Jesus did in Mark 1 and heal all the sick people in the town, go spend time with Dad, and then – without sleep – go and continue on with my ministry. And that’s okay.
*above is a picture of our church staff and wives from our trip to NYC for the Emotionally Healthy conference in May. We’re missing a couple people due to differing flights, but I’m sure you’ll see them eventually 🙂
The actual work portion of my job has been really exciting and growing. I wound up working primarily on building out the worship/production ministry and hammering out a lot of the details for our Sunday operations. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity I was afforded this year, because I fully understand that most twenty-two year olds don’t just get to walk into the position I was so graciously given. So I’m thankful for a staff and a church that believed in me to do my job well.
2. I now get to do my best to continue building a youth ministry.
To be completely transparent this is really scary to me. It’s really easy for me to buy into everything that the enemy tries to tell me (i.e. – you’re too young, you’re not prepared enough, you’re gonna mess kids up, blah blah blah). It is. It really is easy for me to buy into that. But my friends and my co-workers have pumped so much empowerment into me and have been so affirming that I’m not stronger than the Lord. I totally might ruin everything, but the joy is that somebody still might get saved. The Lord’s gonna do what the Lord wants to do and however he wants to do it and he has invited me to be part of his story here in B/CS for another year and so I absolutely hopped on it.
Much of the way the I follow Jesus is based in my story with Younglife. I won’t go into details on this post; but if you’re interested, then you can read more about it here. But that is the mindset into which I am praying for our leaders buy. See, DC Youth does not primarily exist for students to show up in our youth room at the church. Our role is to engage students and make them feel noticed, known, loved, cared for, and ultimately to fight for them to know who Jesus is and what he did. That’s why we exist as a ministry. I would love for our team to know the names of every student in the schools that we engage; because how many of those students may have never been known before?
3. In order to do all of this, I have again been given the opportunity to raise support.
This past year, I watched the Lord do crazy things by raising my entire salary. He was so faithful in the little things (like finances) and in the big things (like seeing some of my friends know and walk with Jesus for the first time in their lives). So I’m neither offended that I have to support raise again, nor am I scared to support raise again.
My salary for the next year is 50% fundraised and 50% provided by Declaration. What this means is that unless I have a group of people around me that buy in to my vision and/or the vision of Declaration Church, I do not get to work for DC full-time.
As of right now, I currently need $5,000 more in order to meet my goal. (That is $416.67/month if you’d like to think about it that way). If this is something in which you’d like to partner with me (or at least hear more about), I’d love to talk more about it with you.
I’ve attached a link at the bottom of this post that takes you to a page with more information and where you can give if you feel so inclined! Don’t feel pressured, but do know that I would absolutely love to have you on my team going forward.
*above is a picture of my friend Alex and myself after he got baptized at the end of our New Mexico hiking trip with some other guys from Declaration. In December he had never heard of Jesus. By April, he was saved. By May, he was baptized.
In short, the Lord is continuing to blow up the cities of Bryan and College Station. It’s truly an exciting honor to get to stay for at least another year and befriend (hopefully hundreds of) middle and high schoolers and tell them why the matter so much to me.
If you’d like to hear more about what I’m doing or more about Declaration Church, please don’t hesitate to ask! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d love to answer any question that I can. The following link goes to a page that has more information about my Residency Program.