First off I want to say thank you for reading the past three months. It has been pretty cool to start a blog about youth ministry. The short term success of the blog has allowed for us to purchase our own domain. From now on the blog can be found at youthstory.org I feel that this transition will help to promote the growth and reach of the conversation that we are having here. With the new name change will come some pretty neat content changes as well. When I first started this blog, I did it in hopes of chronicling my experiences of transitioning from being a youth intern to being a youth pastor. My hope is that youth workers who may be feeling a call to take on the role of youth pastor themselves will be able to look at what I did and be able to use it in some way to help them. Now as a youth pastor I feel there are enough blogs out there, that without the amateur feel, mine will just fade into the background noise. Honestly we are hoping to do something a little different here at Youthstory. Our theme will shift from a "journal of a youth pastor" to a more broad range of topics that central around the idea of the story of youth ministry. With this transition you can expect to see more video created by youthstory.org and hopefully more relevant discussion topics posted on that are inclusive to the national youth discussions. Thank you for reading and I hope you will stay tuned for what is sure to be an exciting and positive change in our blog!
I promised a personal testimony from the M-11 conference. Here are some thoughts that I have put together over the past week:
The reason I went to the conference was probably a combination of a few things. First I remember M-7 being a great experience socially, as a freshman in college. This led me to believe that coming to M-11 might help me form closer relationships with some students at the university. Well that happened for sure, but what I didn't expect was, being able to catch up with so many other youth pastors/friends from other districts around the southeastern United States. That and some of the great van ride talks and fun walks around downtown Louisville with buddies from Trevecca definitely made the trip worth going on. Secondly, although I didn't recognize any of the speakers, I expected the main sermons to be life changing! Thank you Bishop Timothy Clarke for making that happen. There was an incredibly well preached message from Ezekiel 37 in which I gained some great encouragement from, having started in a new youth ministry position last month.
Last but certainly not least I got my identity back. I remembered why I fell in love with the holiness tradition in the first place. There is something in living life everyday in a way that is pleasing to God that just fulfills my life. With a new-found confidence I intend to bring a great message into the lives of the students under my ministry!
I also gained a great quote! Someone asked a man who had been laboring over ministry very hard for a while "Aren't you going to burn out doing ministry that way?" the man replied "it's not my fire" I thought that was pretty sweet!
Again thanks for reading and until next time - Just Jon