Pastor Lisle Drury just posted this over at the the Sojourn Network site...
Previously, I spent almost 20 years in student and family ministry, the last 15 at LaGrange Baptist Church in LaGrange, KY. I have been married for 16 years and have four boys (12, 10, 6 and 3). Because student ministry has been such a large chunk of my ministry life, I wanted to briefly state how my time serving students prepared me for what I am doing now. Here are two things God taught me:
I learned that I am NOT impressive.
When I started out in ministry I thought I was humble, but looking back I was pretty arrogant and thought God must be excited about having me in vocational ministry. So God began to chip away at my pride one student at a time. As anyone who has served teenagers knows, the wise cracks, the know-it-all mentality, and the attitude can make serving students exhausting and humbling.
Pride is always creeping in and speaking to you about how gifted you are in ministry—how really good you are at preaching, vision, putting together amazing events, etc.—and sometimes you can convince yourself that you are something really special, especially after landing a great talk that you felt was so good Jesus would be returning at any moment. Without fail, though, God would then send one of those wonderful middle-schoolers to remind me of how large my forehead is, how I mispronounced a word, how there is a vein that pops out in my neck when I really get into my message, or to ask me a question that was totally unrelated to what I said. At those times I would get so annoyed with them that I wanted to lash out and put them in their place, but as I reflect back, they were God’s tools to continue to kill my pride and humble me! Read More!