The day I said good-bye to youth ministry

Over the past 18 months, God has taken me on a personal journey that has involved moments of tension in my life.  This tension had to do with the focus of my ministry energy.  For the past fifteen years, I have dedicated my ministry focus to middle school and high school students.  There were many moments, I believed youth ministry is where I would spend my vocational career.

God has created a transformational shift in my ministry passions over the past 18 months.

First, I noticed an internal shift when my seminary classmates would constantly ask me why I was not a senior leader in a church.  My answers went from “that isn’t my calling” to “I’m not ready to give up youth ministry yet” to “I’m not sure”.  These answers developed roughly over a 9 month period in 2013.

Second, in May 2013, I wrote a paper on the local church in a much larger scope.  This paper began an awareness that God was beginning to shift me.  Different trigger points, over the Summer of 2013, were enhancing my awareness that God was shifting my ministry passions for the future.

I was not ready to make that shift and I began to wrestle with God during September 2013.  I remember one specific Tuesday afternoon as I was driving to class, that I told God if he wanted to transition me to adult ministry that I would allow Him to do so.  This began a huge transformation in my life similar to “The Santa Clause” movie.

In February 2014, I began a conversation with the other pastors in our church looking for affirmation.  The confirmation was overwhelming by pastors, elders, and other members in our church.  There has been so much prayer involved in future steps.

On August 3, I announced to our church that I would be transitioning out of youth ministry at the end of 2014.  The announcement was more complete than this writing.

In November 2014, my role became Executive Pastor.  I will complete a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Leadership in May 2015 and go through an ordination process during the first half of 2015.  Shortly after I finish this degree, I will begin the pursuit of a Doctor of Ministry degree with Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA.

We anticipate that God will bring us to another church as a senior pastor at some point in the future.