My friend JC Thompson from South Carolina wrote a blog post announcing his five-year anniversary at his church. He was only 21 years old when he was hired. Someone took a risk when they hired JC, but there’s not doubt that the risk was worth it. Not only did JC announce his anniversary, be he drops some learnings he’s had over the past 5 years that demand attention. Seriously, this is the best blog post I’ve read in weeks. I’d like to suggest that this blog post should be required reading for anyone just starting off in ministry.
Here are the learnings that I liked the most:
I takes a long time to make a big difference.
I think JC is on to something. I remember asking my mentor, Jim Wideman, about something at his current church. He replied telling me that he figured he’d have the ministry the way he really wants it in about 10 years. Wow! In a world where most kids or student pastors stick around for less than 3 years, this is an incredible statement about what really happens when you dig your feet in and commit to a place for the long haul.
Safety is more important than fun.
Here’s the thing. When you’re talking about generational ministry, everyone leans more toward safety or fun. What tends to be true is that those who work with younger kids lean more toward safety and those who work with older students lean more towards fun. Student pastors seek kid’s pastors as “protective” and “controlling.” Kid’s pastors see student pastors as “reckless.” JC probably leans more toward the student ministry world, but I think he nails it in this point. You gotta see how he interacted with a parent who happened to be a lawyer questioning him about a camp.
Spending time with God is sometimes harder when working for a church.
Isn’t this the truth. Sometimes I feel that my greatest spiritual peaks were long before I became a pastor. Ministry has the way of making a simple relationship with God very difficult. I’m glad JC brought attention to this as it can often be easy for those of us in ministry to tie out faith to our job, something that only sets us up for failure.
JC, great post. Congrats on your first 5 years at Brookwood! I’m proud to call you friend and I’m excited to see all you’re doing for the kingdom!
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Very nice words! Thanks Kenny!