I can't sleep. It might have been that late night pot of coffee... Oops. So I'm writing to remind myself of some stuff that I think we all need to hear.
1. Constantly remind yourself what you do matters.
The truth is, you matter. We are not just investing in the leaders of tomorrow, but these are the leaders of today. I've heard it said so many times that all Revivals have started with students; on their knees in prayer. I remind how influential my student pastor was for me in middle school and high school. I was fortunate enough to have 2 different youth pastors and they both blessed me in so many ways. They shaped me to be the follower of Christ I am today. One time my student pastor on a Wednesday night at about 4:00pm (I was one of those kids that showed up at the church early) informed me that I was going to teach, that night. 😳 Wait, what?! He said, "Yep. Always be prepared and now is the night." Always be ready. Always challenge your students in unique ways. Stretch your students.
2. They may not ever remember what you say but they will always remember how much you cared.
I will never forget my student pastor driving all the way from the town that a grew up in, to where my grandparents lived the day that my grandpa passed away when I was a senior in high school. It really wasn't that far of a drive but he took time out of his work schedule to come and be with me during a difficult time. It established more of a relationship than any lesson he ever taught. Be present in your students' lives. Find ways to be involved. Surprise them. Show up in their life when you least expect it. If you want them to show up to your activities, find ways for you to go to their activities.
3. Find ways to live in peace with others.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. -Romans 12:18
Take a deep breath. Cut people some slack. I know as you read this that there is at least 1 person that you are not happy with. You are beyond not happy; you are straight up frustrated with them. It was how they handled a situation and you wish that they would have done or not done something. Life goes on. It's not the end of the world. Forgive them. Let it go. (Frozen 🎵 # ) Live in peace.
4. Say no to good so you can say YES!!! to the great.
"There will always be more good ideas than there is capacity to execute. It's okay to say no."-Lecrae
Seriously. Student pastors STRUGGLE with this; well at least this one does. ALL of us. JUST SAY NO occasionally. Like really. When was the last time you said no to someone? There will even be times that you want to say YES! to something but God says NO! and it wasn't just a no but it was a NO WAY, Not Happening. Have you ever wanted something so bad it hurt and when you didn't get it, it left you confused. In the end, God has a bigger plan and direction. I've always asked God to close doors of potential opportunity if He doesn't want me to walk through them...
However, I don't really enjoy when the door is slammed shut. Remind yourself that God can answer things on His timetable and sometimes that, in that specific moment, it really stinks. Trust in His plan. Buckle your seat belt and enjoy the ride. Sometimes it's going to be like a ride in a convertible down the highway on a beautiful day; but there will always be the days that you are in a convertible going down a dirt road on a rainy, cold day. Keep pushing on.
About The Author: Holden McCrackin
Holden McCrackin is married to Krystle, who is his high school sweetheart. He is the father of Elijah Kale and currently spends a fair amount of time changing diapers. He has been serving as a student pastor in Oklahoma for 10 years and is currently the student pastor at Immanuel in Duncan, Oklahoma. He loves to be outdoors playing golf, hunting, fishing, running, or really any other outdoor activity. He loves to travel and go on mission trips. One of his favorite countries is Ethiopia. He has a passion for missions & evangelism.