Recently I have been reminded why I am not just a “youth pastor.” Don’t get me wrong . . . I still love being a youth pastor. When I am asked, “What do you ‘do’?” the first words out my mouth are, “I am a youth pastor.” I do many other things in the life of the church but the role of “youth pastor” is my first passion. Why would I not want to be this and only this?
Holy Week in the life of our church is very busy. Over the course of the week I coordinated or participated in seven different events. Another piece of my role description is to lead the worship ministry as well. With that piece I counted my involvement in performing or leading 40+ songs from Good Friday through Easter.
During the course of all this work I realized, again, I am far more than a only a “youth” pastor. In this week where helped youth serve Seder dinner to the adults, coordinated them volunteering at a benefit run, involved them in worship leadership and more, God reminded me of how my reach extends beyond the youth and to their younger siblings, their parents, aunts/uncles, grandparents, to the elderly lady who faithfully prays for them every day, the couple who were never able to have children who loves our youth ministry, the young parents who tell me I have to be around when their kids are teenagers and the recent college graduate who has a small interest in joining the youth ministry team.
To limit myself only to investing in teenagers is to miss the bigger picture of ministry God has for me. My willingness and ability to be a pastor to all the people allows them to know me as one who loves the youth, loves the church and ultimately shepherds all, who in one form or another, bring care and spiritual direction to our teenagers. I love our youth best by loving and caring for all His people.