Guest Blog By Pastor Bob Jones
Take one police helicopter, a dark Friday night and a parking lot.
Add a dash of searchlights.
Stir in a healthy dose of teenagers.
Throw in a pinch of sledgehammers.
Mix them together and you get a recipe for disaster.
Or a recipe for an unforgettable youth event.
The Edmonton Police Air One Helicopter hovering above the North Pointe Church parking lot was the first sign something might be amiss. After all, the sounds of sledgehammers destroying cars on a Friday night in a normally quiet suburb should have attracted some concern.
When sledgehammer wielding teens are sighted from two hundred feet up its hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. So, plainclothes officers were dispatched to find out what was going down at North Pointe.
As a senior pastor, what would I like to say to our youth pastor? “Hand me a sledgehammer.”
This event, like many others planned by our student ministries pastor, Jeremy Gifford, had a level of risk attached to it. However, the outcome was worth the risk. It was our highest attended event ever and youth got to hear about Jesus.
4 Things A Senior Pastor Can Expect Of A Youth Pastor
- Love our teens in the name of Jesus and Bob. Jesus loves them. They need to know that. I love our teens. That’s why I have you leading them. I want the best for our kids. Help them know Jesus and their senior pastor love them.
You will do a better job than me with youth, but you do represent me. Youth ministry is your turf so I won’t step in unless invited to do so. When you invite me to be at a youth event I’ll be there (but not with bells on because that’s not fly).
- Live large for Jesus. Let your faith shine. Let your doubts be heard. Be honest. Stay spiritually vital. Your spiritual health matters to me. Our teens need to see a big faith in a big God and you’re the best leader to do it. They will remember the messenger more than the messages they hear.
- Have fun with our teens. You’re not much older than they are so that means you share some of their preferences and enjoyments. Plus, you have the energy, creativity and flexibility to pull off stuff they like. Generate healthy memories for them and their peers. They want to invite their friends to cool stuff (like car smashes) so keep planning engaging events as well as studies, retreats and prayer times.
- Talk to me about your ideas before you launch them. Our students are important to me. What they experience is important to me. You are closer to our students than I am, however I’m responsible for them to their parents and God. I’ll cut you lots of slack. I don’t want to know what you’re doing to shut you down. I want to know because I can pray better for you and them.
And when I get enough lead notice I can get a swing of the sledgehammer before anyone else shows up.
Bob Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He’s been in ministry for 36 years as a youth pastor and senior pastor. He has invested the past 26 years of his life in North Pointe Community Church, Edmonton, Alberta.