Have you hugged your youth director lately?

th-3Have you hugged your youth director lately? You better.

Marti thinks that youth directors should be the highest paid staff position at church. Why is that?

Because they can get through to your kid when you can’t.
Because they are cool when you are not.
Because they can do things with kids which if you tried, they would just laugh at you.
Because your 14-year-old will talk to them when he won’t talk to you.
Because you’ll find out things about your son or your daughter you never knew.
Because they can inspire your kid to believe in what he can’t see.
Because they can fan the flame of the Spirit in kids.
Because they can lead your kids to the Lord.

Chandler attended church camp this summer and I finally got around to meeting with the youth director. I found out that Chandler is a leader. (We already knew that, but it was nice to have it confirmed. At this stage, Chandler is a leader because he does what he wants to do regardless of what anyone else thinks about it, so everyone follows him because he does what he does so confidently that they assume it must be the thing to do.)

I found out that Chandler embraced some spiritual realities at camp when the rest of his “group” (“tribe” would be a better word) didn’t. I would never have known this had I not sat down and talked with the youth director. Chandler did not make me aware of any of this information. I also found out that I was one of what he guessed was about 10% of the parents in his youth group who sought him out to talk about their son or daughter. I found that hard to believe.

This last summer I went to a reunion of the high school group I attended in my church when I was growing up. The man who was our youth director then was there with his wife and the outpouring of love and affection for them was palpable. Forty years later we are still experiencing the effects of their role in our lives. And why did I go? I’m sure seeing people I haven’t seen in years was part of it. What do they look like? Who did they become? But mostly I wanted to see the man and his wife who had been instrumental in setting the spiritual course of my life, so I could thank them, and let them know that after all these years, that I’ve been faithful.

My first two children are Christians today because of a youth director. I’m in the ministry today because of a youth director. Have you hugged your youth director lately? You better.

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2 Responses to Have you hugged your youth director lately?

  1. Peter Leenheer says:

    Thank you for this astute observation about youth directors. I forwarded this devotion to my youth directors in the church I attend. I am teaching in youth and children’s ministry. So often a child realizes at some point in your teaching that Christ is their everything and you get the privilege of telling the parents. There have been some wonderful moments with parents telling them things about their children that move them to tears of joy.

    In kid’s ministry we had a young boy about seven years old. Wherever he was there was trouble. Other kids would be angry, crying or being violent. This was not good. This went on for a number of times that he came. I was ready to throw him out for good. Can you imagine a seven year old expelled from children’s ministry. Instead I began to pray to the Holy Spirit to show me what his problem was.

    A few weeks later the boy was there again. I dreaded the time ahead. During the teaching I asked if kids heard God speak to them. Most of them spoke out at once, and before they were quiet that obnoxious little boy was heard to say that he had both God and Satan sitting on opposite shoulders.

    After the service I talked to him one on one. He stated that he was listening to Satan..I asked him if he wanted to. He said no, he hated listening to him. I told him to start listening to God. He agreed. The next time he came wherever he was their was the peace that passes all understanding. It was delightful. In conversation with the little guy, he told me that he told Satan to get lost and asked God to talk to him only.

    I shared this with the rest of the group and they all clapped. His mother cried when I told her, because she had the same problem with him at home. It was one of the best moments I can remember in a long time of how God works.

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