Ministry is a hard job. We were joking about this at lunch that all our sound guy does is turn a few knobs. All our pastor does is work half a day, once a week. All the youth staff does is play video games. We don’t get much recognition and we’re not in it for the recognition. But when it comes, it’s sweet! In fact, I have an “Atta boy!” file for whenever thank you’s do come my way. But I noticed something on Instagram today and it made me want to say stop thanking your youth pastor. Start blessing them. Let me show you:
One youth worker posted this. An anonymous drop-off of Diet Dew and an encouraging post it. Someone not only thought of him, but went out and got a drink for him, snuck it into his office, and left a note that took some time to make. That communicates time, sacrifice, and value. That’s a blessing.
I also saw this from my partner in crime around the corner:
Someone anonymously stuck some cash in his mailbox because they know the needs his family has. How awesome is that?
Now, put your torches and pitchforks down for a second. This isn’t a ploy to get free stuff. Like I said earlier, ministry is a hard job. We’re not in it for the recognition. We’re not in it to get wealthy. Youth ministers’ salaries are a national joke, and we’re all fine with that. We make enough to get by. But that’s why $20 here and a Mountain Dew there are considered blessings in our world.
Again, this is not a crusade for a love offering. If I find anything in my box in the near future I will find you. And I will return whatever you leave. But read this depiction of the early church in Acts 2:
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
There’s a lot going on here and I’m not going to water it down to make my point. But I do see in this that one of the characteristics of the early church was generosity. Blessing. Community.
Thank you’s are great because we get beat up a lot in what we do. But what if we got to a point where we found ways to bless our youth pastors? Sending a thank you email is easy to do (AND IS STILL APPRECIATED).
But what if we started to notice when they pray for prices to drop at Aldi?
What if we started to recognize they have been at church for 52 straight weeks and no vacation pictures ever pop up on facebook?
What if we noticed they never talk about date nights?
What if we hear their car coming before we see it?
What if we find them napping in their office?
Sometimes I wish I wasn’t a youth pastor and the scenarios were flipped so I could figure out ways to be a blessing. I know this view is jaded because of where I currently am, and that it is very difficult to imagine all that we do.
But how can you be a blessing to your youth pastor? If you’ve never said thank you, maybe it starts there.
Just start asking “what if?” and see where God leads you!