Today this is coming from my good friend and peer on the Florida District Youth Team, Nathan Huba. He’s doing an awesome job as a veteran Youth Pastor in Tallahassee, FL. Enjoy!
I have had the honor and privilege to be around some of the most amazing leaders in our movement today (I’ll do my best not to “name drop”). I’ve also had the honor and privilege to speak at a few different youth worker seminars. I currently serve as the Florida District Section 2 Youth Director, in Tallahassee, FL, under the great leadership of my Presbyter and Pastor, Rev. Daniel D. Huba. Now saying all of that, this by no means makes me a specialist in anything I do! I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I’m Jonny Cash and “I’ve been everywhere, Man!”, because I haven’t! I am going to try to answer a question that is asked of me at every rally and every seminar I’ve been privileged to be a part of.
I hold several sectional rallies a year in my section. At the end of each service I make it a goal to speak with my section’s student pastors and youth leaders. It’s my goal to know how things are developing in their youth departments. One service in particular, I had an “Angry Youth Leader/Student Pastor” approach me as soon as the closing prayer ended. As he was within five feet of me, I didn’t know if I should have worn my bullet proof vest that evening or start running for cover. He had an agenda that night, a goal before he even set foot into that service. I held out my hand in hopes that he would shake it, also hoping that it would defuse the anger on his face. Well, he shook it but he was still angry! He then asked a question that resonates with me even today.
“Why don’t we have more Rallies?!” As that question sprang out, I began to go into defense mode to control the situation. The more I tried to explain, the more he attacked. Until something in me snapped! I replied to him with a question, “Do you hold a once-a-week youth service?!” His gruff grew quiet and he began to back down. Now he was on the ropes, looking for a way out. He mumbled that they have a once-a-month youth night, filled with playing games and fellowship. As I heard this, it struck a nerve within me! It revealed a common problem within our youth departments.
We love growth! Who doesn’t, right?! We love to be a part of revival! We desire to see our names stamped on that product/thing that is successful! I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with that, I believe it’s good to have some pride in the ministry you’re working hard at for God. Now the thing we don’t love is the “process!” We love to sow and we love to reap, we just hate the process in between! Now I don’t have a magical seed that will instantly grow your “stalk of ministry” to sky high success! But I do have a principle that has worked for me through the years! That principle is simply this, if your want instant, you’ve got to be consistent!
My reply to the “Angry Youth Pastor” about once-a-month rallies was that the reason I don’t have them is because I’m consistently having my own student-led youth services every Friday night! I love a good rally but I prefer to reach my community through my students on a consistent basis. My first year as Student Pastor, I went from 3 students to 25 consistent students attending our youth service that one year. Now is my student body multiplying by 23 students every year? NO! But it’s growing! I was allowed by my pastor to hold my youth services every Friday night. This allowed me to also hold an “Altar Service” every Friday night! Please don’t have church without having an Altar Service! It’s imperative that you take the same amount of effort as you did for your “Ice Breaker” and put it into the Altar Service where God changes the heart of that student!
My advice to every student pastor that is struggling with the idea of having a once-a-week youth service, my answer to you is if you want instant, you’ve got to be consistent! I’m trying to be very transparent in this blog! So when I tell you it isn’t always easy, it isn’t always easy! It will be a sacrifice to you and your family, it will be time consuming, you will not be able to have your designated night to “take it easy”, but I promise you the rewards are greater than you can imagine! Watching your youth group grow in numbers, but more importantly watching them grow spiritually is the very thing that drives me to be more consistent in everything I do!
I love when Solomon writes “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit” (Ecc. 7:8). We must understand this concept when we’re hammered with our own impatience and frustration! Let’s not forget those who took the time to patently invest in our lives on a consistent basis! We need to be that consistent attachment to a world of inconsistent relationships!
The “Instant/Consistent” principle has worked immensely for me in every level of relationship I’ve had with God. If you want instant blessings, then give consistent praise and worship! If you want instant wisdom and understanding, be a consistent Bible reader! If you want instant breakthrough, then consistently beat on the walls in your life! If you want INSTANT, then be CONSISTENT!!
Disclaimer: No “Angry Youth Leaders/Student Pastors” were hurt during the making of this blog!